Andy Schroeder came to Kodiak while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, and, since leaving the service to stay here, he has worked in the nonprofit and private sectors.
“All of this ... gives me perspective that I think I can offer to the assembly and help make good decisions going forward,” he said.
Schroeder is the founder and executive director of Island Trails Network, a local nonprofit that works to develop and maintain Kodiak’s trail system.
He is also part owner of a charter vessel in Kodiak specializing in marine research.
During his 17 years in Kodiak, he has developed interest and expertise in a number of areas, he said.
“I’m not a single-issue candidate,” he said.
Health and well-being are huge focuses in Schroeder’s life, and he expects that to carry over into his work on the assembly.
“I am concerned about community health. I’ve made efforts through Island Trails Network, the nonprofit that I run, to make Kodiak more walk and bike friendly. This is our way of providing health and mental well-being facilities, physical well-being facilities, in the community,” he said.
He also believes the borough has a role in helping to combat the opioid epidemic in the community.
“The borough doesn’t directly do law enforcement or provide health care, but indirectly we can influence these things and help make Kodiak a healthier place to live,” he said.
As director of a nonprofit, Schroeder said he believes these organizations make significant contributions to the community.
“I’m very supportive of the importance of the services they provide. I think they’re indispensable, and so I expect to be a strong supporter of the nonprofits,” he said.
With a child newly in kindergarten, and another that will also go to public schools, Schroeder said a healthy educational system is important to him.
“That’s a new dimension in my life where now I’m a concerned parent,” he said.
Finally, Schroeder would like to promote economic development by finding ways to train tradesmen and attract them to the community.
“I believe this should be a place where somebody can start and run a business,” he said.
Economic development will depend on providing a community with good schools, safe streets and abundant recreational opportunities,” he said.
It will also depend on ensuring people can afford to live here.
“I think we need to recognize the need for affordable housing in our community,” he said. Schroeder said codes and zoning should be updated to allow more affordable housing and encourage developers to bring “new and innovative housing developments,” he said. “They’re out there. We just kind of need to come into the modern age with that.”
Schroeder said the community should support its existing seafood industry, but also provide support to other economic opportunities like kelp farming and tourism.
“There are ways to do that and also improve the quality of life here,” he said.