KYUK is profiling each candidate for Bethel City Council in order to learn more about who they are, why they’re running, and what they plan to do if elected. You can listen to Mark Springer’s full Coffee@KYUK interview online.
Mark Springer has lived in Bethel for almost 20 years. Before that, he lived in Hooper Bay. He currently works at ONC cleaning up old military sites in Bethel. Springer is no stranger to city government. He has served multiple terms on Bethel City Council, although not the most recent one. On those councils, he says that he would shed light on difficult issues.
“You know, I’m not afraid to express my opinion. I’m not afraid to ask hard questions,” Springer said.
Springer says that he has also made tough decisions in the past, like when he voted for yearly increases in water bills, but he says that move provided funds to expand services along the institutional corridor. Springer observed that meetings used to run long when he served on council, but at the end of the night everybody would shake hands. He says that things are different now with the current council.
“You can disagree, you can ask questions, but don’t treat your employees in an unprofessional fashion,” Springer said.
He disapproves of the ethics hearings that the council conducted during the past few months. He says that one of his first actions, if elected, would be to remove the opportunity for council members to file ethics complaints against each other.
“That has absolutely no benefit for the public. It gives one council member an opportunity to point a finger at another council member,” Springer said.
Another issue Springer wants to look at is homelessness.
“There’s a lot more homelessness in Bethel than what you see on the street,” Springer said.
Springer says that younger people with lower salaries end up staying in overcrowded homes with relatives. He also wants to increase economic development in Bethel to create more jobs.