Insurance salesman, pedicab driver, Olympic aspirant, Sim City enthusiast, and — as of Friday — Juneau Assembly candidate. William Quayle Jr.’s résumé is nothing if not eclectic.
He’s hoping it will be enough to unseat incumbent Mary Becker and beat back challenger Arnold Liebelt to secure the vacant District 1 Assembly slot this October.
“My campaign theme is: Stop the insanity,” Quayle told the Empire Saturday. “I’m from the outside. I’ve gone to Assembly meetings, and oh, god, something needs to be done.”
Quayle, 65, is running on a “simple” platform. He wants the city to spend within its means, reduce taxes and surplus its utilities to generate revenue.
“This is Sim City 101, the basics,” Quayle said. “You’ve got to sell your utilities to neighboring communities to make money. Once you do that, you can lower your property taxes.
So maybe his platform is only simple for Sim City pros like himself. For his utility surplus plan, Quayle would like to “turn Juneau into a powerhouse.”
“That means we generate more power than we need and we sell it to other municipalities,” he explained, adding that Juneau would first have to run submerged power lines to other Southeast communities.
Quayle proposes using hydropower and wind turbines to achieve his goal.
He wants to fight the high cost of housing by offering city sponsored property tax cuts for any landlord that lowers rent for his or her tenants. He wants to make sure the city doesn’t reduce privileges for seniors. And he wants to aid small businesses by eliminating city permit fees.
Quayle recently bought a pedicab hoping to start a business during the cruise ship season. In order to run his business legally, though, he needs a commercial passenger vehicle permit from the city. That would set him back $1,500, and he says it has prevented him from making any money with his pedal-powered cab.
He still rides it daily. He even rode it though the pouring rain from his downtown home to the Empire’s office Saturday for an interview.
If elected to the Assembly on Oct. 4, Quayle said he would fight to get rid of permit fees and other expenses he sees as prohibitive for small businesses.
“I’m a business person’s best friend, and print that in big letters,” Quayle said.
Permit fees aren’t the only thing Quayle wants to put an end to. He wants the Assembly to stop making “tax-and-spend” decisions “because that crap is for the birds.”
Quayle moved to Juneau from Medford, Oregon three years ago.
In addition to selling insurance for Mutual of Omaha, he is a student at the University of Alaska Southeast, where he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in theatre.
Quayle said he knows he’s the “little guy” in the three-way race for the District 1 Assembly seat he’s after, but that’s not a role he is unfamiliar with. Twice he has trained for the Olympics, and though he never made it to the big games, he fought for a spot nonetheless.
In 1972 he was ranked 22nd in the nation in race walking. And in 1988 he competed in the Olympic trials for canoe and kayak racing.
“I was the worst of the best,” he said with a laugh.
Come October, Quayle hopes voters see him as the best of the worst as they head to the polls.
• Contact reporter Sam DeGrave at 523-2279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.