JUNEAU — There are two write-in candidates seeking office in the Juneau City Council Ward 1 seat.
Diana Ogle, of 491 N. Main St., and Jason Buske, 34, of 361 N. Main St., both announced they would like voters to write their name on the ballot.
Buske is the current alderperson, but announced in December he would not seek re-election. He said he decided to run as a write-in “because I’m worried about the experience level of our current council.”
“We’re I not on the council, the longest tenure (among other council members) would be two years,” he said.
Buske, works as an engineering and quality manager for Venture Manufacturing, Beaver Dam.
He began his council tenure about five years ago when he was appointed by Juneau Mayor Ron Bosak to complete a term vacated early by alderman Dennis Druecke. He has run for re-election twice since.
“I pretty much have sat on every committee — I have chaired the personnel and finance committees — so I have developed a good understanding of the city’s budget and work processes,” Buske said.
Buske was elected Juneau Council President last April by his fellow council members.
As for the next two years, Buske said maintaining the city budget will be the biggest challenge, including maintaining the city’s fund balance. Juneau’s fund balance, which is the amount of cash the city maintains in savings, has been tapped in the recent past to compensate for shortfalls in tax receipts and government aid.
“The only way I see to take care of this is to cut spending on big-ticket items and watch our contingency funds and capital purchases, to a certain extent,” Buske said.
“There are needs, such as a new ambulance, but with the upcoming street projects in our TIF (Tax Incremental Finance) district, we don’t have that tax money coming back in like we thought we’d have,” he said.
Ogle, 60, said she has lived at her current address since 1999 and although she has no previous experience as an elected official, she believes her self-employment and business experience make her a prime candidate for the two-year job.
“I currently own a marketing and advertising firm, Business Success Strategies, and my vision and goals when I talk to clients are all about getting the team to work together,” she said.
Ogle’s partner — in business and life — is her husband, Greg, whom she recalled helped crystallize her political aspirations.
“At first, he said, ‘Woman, have you gone mad?’ and I said, ‘Why not me? ‘When’s the last time you did something for the first time?’”
A native of Davenport, Iowa, Ogle hopes to use a council seat to promote economic development in Juneau.
“What can we do to get more business in your door? What can we do to bring more commerce to the city? Obviously, if we create more commerce, they’ll have more money to spend,” she postulated.
“I’d like to see more beautification; more things for young adults. I’d love to see the downtown get rockin’ and rollin’,” she said. “There still is stuff we can do to bring people here to discover Juneau.”