City and Borough of Juneau Assembly candidate Chuck Collins turns in his paperwork to City Clerk Laurie Sica on Monday. Collins said the people of Juneau “need to take control of our town again.” (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

City and Borough of Juneau Assembly candidate Chuck Collins turns in his paperwork to City Clerk Laurie Sica on Monday. Collins said the people of Juneau “need to take control of our town again.” (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Homelessness, crime inspire new challengers to run

Every seat is contested in this year’s City and Borough of Juneau regular election.

Seven candidates will be competing for three Assembly seats, while three competitors are seeking two seats on the Board of Education. The three newest challengers for seats on the CBJ Assembly all agree on two points: Juneau’s rising levels of crime and homelessness need to be addressed.

In the final days for candidates to register for the Oct. 3 election, four candidates for Assembly submitted their paperwork. One of them, Robert Edwardson, had declared his candidacy for the District 2 seat currently held by Debbie White in July. The others were new names in the race, which is the first one since 2009 that will see multiple candidates for every seat.

The three newer contenders — Chuck Collins, Loretto Jones and Carole Triem — all stated this week that some of the biggest issues facing the community are homelessness, crime and the opioid crisis. Jones, who is running for the District 1 seat currently held by Jesse Kiehl, has lived in Juneau off and on for 40 years and is unhappy with what she’s seen lately.

“I never remember anything quite like the homeless situation or the increased property crime in Juneau in all of my years living here,” Jones said Tuesday. “That’s why I’m running for office. I think there’s solutions that we can work with within the community. We’ve got a lot of very smart people here, and you’ve gotta ask a lot of questions to get the right answers.”

[Registration closes for candidates to run in fall election]

Since 2007, Jones has owned and operated Sedna Charters, a geo-tourism company that takes visitors out on the waters around Juneau. She served on the AWARE board and Docks & Harbors board in the 1980s and has worked as a professor, property manager and business owner since then.

Triem is also a first-time candidate, and is running for the Areawide Assembly seat against current Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski. Triem, an economic development advisor for the state, also mentioned homelessness and the opioid crisis as reasons for looking to get more involved in local government.

Triem has paid attention to Assembly decisions, and said the ordinance that the city passed in February to give police the ability to remove people sleeping in the entryways of downtown businesses was more of a Band-Aid than a long-term solution.

“I think the camping ordinance is just addressing a symptom of a much larger problem and probably not really good enough,” Triem said, “and I don’t know that it was the most humane solution either.”

Collins, a longtime businessman in the financial realm in Juneau, is running for Kiehl’s District 1 seat as well. He’s run for Assembly before, and said the homelessness and crime in town have had him thinking about running again. He made his intentions official Monday afternoon when he turned in his paperwork.

Collins said he’s wary of bringing his grandchildren downtown now with the homeless population there, and believes Juneau isn’t as family-friendly as it used to be.

“I just think that it’s time that Juneau became the community it’s always been,” Collins said. “It’s always been a great place to raise families and I want to see it get back toward that.”

Collins has known Kiehl for more than 20 years, he said, and though the two get along, Collins said, “(Kiehl) just doesn’t believe the way that I believe.”

While the candidates might not see eye-to-eye on everything, Jones said she’s prepared to work hard to reach agreements if she earns a spot on the Assembly. Her father was a diplomat in the Philippines when she was younger, and she worked as his secretary and learned quite a bit about working with others without animosity.

“My father taught me very well, you have to bend with the bamboo,” Jones said. “You can’t just go in there forcefully.”

All three of the new challengers expressed a desire to help fix the issues of homelessness and rising crime, but actually doing so will require an effort from more than merely the nine Assembly members and CBJ staff, Jones said.

“We need to all work together to try and come up with a solution,” Jones said. “It’s not gonna come from City Hall. It’s gonna come from the residents.”

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at

More in News

A king salmon on a line in Southeast Alaska gets pulled toward the net. The 2020 SeaBank report calls industrial logging and climate change “double jeopardy for salmon.” 
(Courtesy Photo / Bjorn Dihle)
SalmonState: ‘Alaska’s untold secret’ — The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’

By Mary Catharine Martin Wild salmon. Clean water. Clean air. Carbon storage.… Continue reading

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise the annual salary for Alaska lawmakers but to restrict the daily allowance lawmakers can receive. The changes will go forward unless the Legislature expressly rejects them. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
State lawmakers face proposed salary hike, allowance limits

A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise… Continue reading

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Goldbelt Transportation and Allen Marine Tours will contract with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to provide ferry service through the Southeast for the remainder of the winter, according to a news release. (Courtesy photo / Goldbelt Transportation)
Goldbelt, Allen Marine pick up winter ferry contracts

Contracts were signed this January for several winter runs to Southeast communities.

Donated blood is prepared for storage and eventual transport at the Blood Bank of Alaska's Juneau location. There is a statewide shortage of donated blood. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
‘National blood crisis’ presents challenges in Alaska

Donation centers contend with COVID, weather and other disruptions as they work to stock hospitals.

Most Read