Havrilek seeks seat on proposed borough assembly
John Havrilek, who came to Petersburg in 1994 as a middle school and high school principal, has served the community as a Petersburg City Councilor twice and is hoping to serve as a Petersburg Borough Assembly Member.
“I have served on the council twice,” Havrilek said. “I am retired now and see no reason not to run and I think it would be really exciting to see the borough form.”
Havrilek has lived all over the state of Alaska and has found a home here in Petersburg for the last 20 years.
“I have lived and worked anywhere from Ketchikan to Barrow,” Havrilek said. “But I like it here more than any other place I’ve been.”
In all of the other Alaskan towns he has lived, there have been boroughs and he states that he has heard no negative talk regarding the formation of boroughs in other communities.
“To me, it is a no brainer decision to form a borough,” he stated. “I want to have a say in where I live and forming this borough will open up opportunities that aren’t there now. “
According to Havrilek, Juneau would not be spending the funds to extend their borders into the area we wish to incorporate if there wasn’t going to be some sort of gain in the action.
“Should we have someone else telling us what to do or do we make that decision and take advantage of the potential jobs and recreation that are there for us?” he asked. “The opportunities are unlimited. We don’t have a crystal ball to tell us the future, but with us being a part of a borough that crystal ball is under our control.”
Havrilek sees no down side to the borough formation except for those who do not wish to pay the property taxes.
“If a person lives here long enough they qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend,” he stated. “In some ways anyone could say they aren’t paying property tax, that money is given for doing nothing more than living here.”
Havrilek explained that the biggest challenge ahead for the proposed assembly is the actual organization of the borough.
“The overall organization of the borough will prove to be difficult,” he stated. “This is the time to try to make it fit as many peoples’ needs as possible and then being on the lookout for any potential development.”
He also stated that being a community is like a family, we should be helping each other.
According to Havrilek, the only thing that may unify the constituency is time. “I truly hope the people will come around to agreement in a manner of time. The facts will be proven with the opportunity.”
He also explained that he is really excited about this potential borough.
“This is a wonderful place to live and a great place to raise a family,” Havrilek stated. “The borough is not going to destroy our uniqueness or kill what is beautiful about this place. It will more than likely make it better, if given the proper chance to succeed.”