Point of View: ‘The best is yet to come’

Zachary Hamilton is running for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor in the special election

I am Zachary Hamilton, and I am running to become your Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor in 2023. You will see my name on the ballot at the upcoming special mayoral election on Feb. 14.

Once I had made the decision to run to be your next mayor, I began meeting with key leaders in our borough communities as well as other hard-working, freedom-loving neighbors like you. At these meetings, I often jot down notes in a small journal I carry with me. These journals are my “field notes.” Leading to the special election, I am writing and sharing several editorials at my website, newkpbmayor.com, detailing what I am discovering through these conversations, and how the experiences and input of others are shaping the ways I intend to lead at the borough, if elected.

It is important you understand the mayor’s job in a strong-mayor system is primarily a management job rather than a political one. I am an experienced executive leader and transition management specialist. As an organizational leader, I will leverage my experience, education and expertise to manage, coordinate and collaborate with borough employees, and other contributors, who have been hired or elected because of their particular experience, education, and expertise.

As an experienced mentor-coach, I can sit down with any person who is coachable to help them better understand their usual and stress behaviors, needs, strengths, and areas where continued personal and professional development can benefit them and the organization. As a troubleshooter, a skill I acquired in the U.S. Air Force, I am prepared to help neighbors see themselves — not the government or a politician or an outside entity — as the source of answers.

When I was writing my dissertation, the research pointed me to this alarming truth: trust or faith in leaders at every level in our society is perpetually at an all time low. This collective lack of trust is a major hurdle to increasing voter turnout even in regional and local systems. Borough residents want to know and be known by their elected officials. Citizens want to determine if their candidates can be trusted, truly care, and can help. I invite you to come interact with us at the upcoming forums across the peninsula. Reach out to me at zach@newkpbmayor.com. I want to hear from you.

Listening to you, learning about you, and helping you to synthesize the best path forward is important to me. I am raising my family on the Kenai and I have a vested interest in where we go from here.

Outside of providing leadership to borough employees and direction to the organization, I wish to contribute to the continued efforts to help our borough communities improve our interdependence on one another, making us a stronger quilt, less dependent on external resources and interventions. Sometimes our attention is on what we lack, yet there is abundance here and now.

Three themes or success factors that have emerged so far can be summed up by these words: continuity, culture and creativity. First, borough employees have experienced quite a bit of change and uncertainty in recent years. The next mayor can provide continuity, stability and support. I intend to gain momentum within the organization now before running as the incumbent during the regular election later this year. Second, working for the borough should be one of the most desirable jobs on the peninsula for young people and established professionals who desire to make a difference in their community. I intend to shape a “we care” culture at the borough that empowers and equips employees to do the greatest good. Third, this work does not have to be boring or polarizing. The mayor can be a driver of positive change, the right kind of change, through innovative solutions. It is important to me to be a model citizen who honors our heritage while building a bridge from the present to the future.

I truly believe the best is yet to come! In the meantime, connect with me and learn more about me at my campaign website: newkpbmayor.com. Onward!