Name: Lacey Derr
Date and place of birth: Juneau, Alaska
Length of residency in Alaska and Juneau: 34 Years/Lifelong
Education: Graduate of Juneau Douglas High School, attended three years at UAS — Majors Psychology/Sociology
Occupation: State of Alaska, Records and Licensing Supervisor
Family : Married with Children
Community service: Member At Large – Juneau Huskies Football
Assembly Candidates’ Questions
1. How should CBJ respond to the Governor’s budget cuts? Are GO bonds a legitimate tool to stimulate economic activity in this environment?
We’re going to have to finish up projects that had already begun prior to the major cuts made by the Governor. The City is going to have to reevaluate the services it provides and prioritize needs vs. wants. GO bonds cannot be the only solution to stimulate economic activity. Tourism has been incredibly profitable but it has also become our Achilles heel. It is important we start focusing on local stimulation to the economy and our revenues sources which are better sustained at a local level.
2. COVID-19 has caused disruption to tourism, including the cruise ship industry. What lessons learned during this time can the Assembly address and work on once we are in the new normal?
Our local businesses and citizens are what is going to keep our community going. Tourism is a great way to share our state with the rest of the world and generate an income. But it cannot be our only focus, which unfortunately tourism has become. The push for more visitors, mega-ships, and the ‘more is better’ mentality towards tourism has narrowed our vision; excluding potential investment in more localized revenue sources. Now is the time to revisit our visions and broaden our views of what local, sustainable, revenue sources we have.
3. What can the Assembly do to help lessen the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the Juneau
community and move Juneau forward in economic recovery?
The Assembly must remain open to listening. To bringing all the different voices to the table and continuing to support its citizens to the best of its abilities. We all want to see more support services, more economic growth, less taxes… but all these things cannot be supported without give and take. It’s going to take all the different groups, working together with solution driven plans to lessen the impacts on our citizens and bring us through to the other side of this crisis.
4. What can the Assembly do to help alleviate the critical shortage of child care options for Juneau families?
There is a way to over regulate a profession to where well guided ‘protections’ become significant barriers to providing services in our community. We need to look at what child care licensing entails and identify areas which can be worked on to allow more providers to qualify. If there were more licensed providers available who accept childcare assistance, that opens SO many opportunities for families and providers alike.
5. What is the most important community need the Assembly must address?
So many times, we hear the need to solve our homelessness issues. That the availability and affordable access to mental health is nearly impossible to find. I’ve been told, to get a bed at the local in-patient addiction recovery center is weeks-months long wait. Building up our social resources supports our citizens health & wellbeing, it gives our emergency services & first responders the resources they need, and will in turn reduce the cost for services & stimulate the growth of our economy. The Assembly must continue to work to meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens.
6. What is the most significant Assembly accomplishment in the last year?
Their continued perseverance to keep Juneau’s safety it’s top priority. So much of COVID impacts our daily lives and the stress is wearing on everyone. But the Assembly has continued to take public testimony, balance it with the information from our COVID-19 Risk Team, and make the tough decisions which have kept Juneau’s positive case numbers as controlled as possible. I commend them for coming to the table with thoughtful solutions and their willingness to listen to the people.
• These questions were developed by the League of Women Voters. Candidates supplied the biographical information.