North Pole mayor plans to run for Fairbanks borough mayor
North Pole Mayor Bryce Ward has filed a letter of intent to run for mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in 2018. This is good news.
Karl Kassel, the incumbent borough mayor who decided not to run again, believes that Bryce is prepared and an excellent choice for the job. I agree.
I've had the pleasure of knowing Bryce for 20 years and I've always been impressed with his character, leadership skills, integrity and work ethic. He is careful, considerate, smart and modest.
Before getting into local politics, he built his own house and started his own construction company. He is a husband, father and manages to be both cheerful and hard working, which is not easy.
My late brother Pat, who was the chief of staff at the City of Fairbanks for many years, worked directly with Bryce as a city official and had high praise for his professional approach and intelligence. Bryce ran a write-in campaign for the North Pole City Council in 2011 and later was elected mayor twice. His term ends next fall.
I am not surprised that he has become a community leader. I met Bryce when he was 11 years old and his enthusiasm and ability to get others to work with him remains with me to this day.
Even at that age he had a rare talent for dealing with people and making friends without being overbearing and solving problems.
He was in the same Boy Scout troop as my son, Connor, Troop 1 in Fairbanks. I was a volunteer and went on many camping trips with the Troop, which was led by Joe Wagner, Richard Veazey, Steve Adamczak, John Ferree, Vince Matthews and others. I think they would say the same thing about their early impressions of Bryce Ward.