A longtime business owner from a homesteading family is looking to snag a spot on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.
Troy Jones, owner of East Road Services, is vying for the District 9 assembly seat that covers the southern peninsula. It’s a three-year term, the last of which was held by Willy Dunne, who is running for re-election.
Jones has lived in Alaska for 62 years and has owned East Road Services since 1990. He also is a registered guide for big game and is a member of the Peninsula Horseman’s Association, the Homer Ministerial Association and a life member of the National Rifle Association, according to his candidate information on the borough website.
Jones said he decided to run for public office in order to serve the community and bring some ideas to the table.
“I’ve lived in the Kenai Peninsula Borough all my life, and I love the peninsula and I love the Homer area and the borough,” he said. “And I just want to serve and see if I can be an asset and help promote less taxes, more freedom and less regulation.”
Jones said he is encouraged by the direction he sees Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce working in terms of the borough budget and finances.
“We need to reduce government (spending) as much as we can,” Jones said. “Raising taxes would be the absolute last resort.”
Jones said he thinks his life experience so far makes him qualified to be involved in discussions about the borough’s budget.
“Having worked in the private sector all my life, … having owned and run several businesses … I know how business works, and you can’t live beyond your means,” he said. “The bills have to be paid.”
“There are essential services that the borough supplies, and that’s good,” Jones continued. “We need to keep that at a minimum, but there are things that can be privatized.”
Jones is in support of contracting more borough services, like road maintenance, out to private businesses. He also suggested finding a way to get more of the land lots the borough currently own out into private hands. He’d like to see them on the tax rolls contributing to property taxes.
When it comes to finding solutions or talking about issues with assembly members who may feel differently, Jones said he’s not worried.
“Each issue is its own independent thing,” he said. “You have to hear the issues, you have to understand the problems and then work for a solution.”
“I have pastored the local church for over 15 years out in my neighborhood, so I know how to listen,” Jones continued. “You can’t please everybody all the time, but you can listen to the issues and you can take the time to weigh each circumstance and how it affects the people involved, and come to an agreement.”
In his candidate statement, Jones writes that he supports wise resource development. Asked to expand on that, he said “we have to be environmentally sensitive.”
At the same time, Jones said he thinks the “Stand for Salmon” ballot initiative to strengthen state laws regarding salmon stream protection goes too far in terms of regulation. He will be voting against it, he said.
Another area Jones said he is interested in is preserving public access to backcountry land in the area, such as in the Caribou Hills.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.