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Mayors make difference in on-post neighborhoods

 Volunteers needed at Fort Richardson for community program

Sharon McBride
Fort Richardson PAO

A little bit of initiative mixed with inquisitiveness is all it takes to be a part of the Fort Richardson mayors' program.

Family housing mayors work toward improving the quality of life for post residents.

 "Their main goal is not to enforce housing regulations, but to work closely with Soldiers and family members to identify any problems out there and get them resolved," said Vincent Rasor, Fort Richardson housing liaison. 

For example, it was the mayors who were able to get speed bumps installed throughout post housing and are often the ones who work with tenants to get repairs to their quarters done quickly, Rasor said.

Regardless if it's a big or small concern, it's usually the mayors who work to get things resolved, he explained, adding volunteer mayors are currently needed for the Cottonwood, Puffin Park and Raven Ridge neighborhoods.

"We also need deputy mayors for most of the neighborhoods," Rasor said. 

There isn't much of a difference between the titles, he said, as mayors and deputy mayors are treated equally and have a like say in all matters.

"Their voices are definitely heard," Rasor said. "A lot of things in housing (can be) resolved rather quickly, because the mayors all have direct access to the garrison commander."

Volunteers with the mayors' program also meet regularly with the garrison staff and chain of command, he said.

Deann Denter, the mayors' program coordinator and the mayor of the Kodiak housing area, agrees with Rasor.

"I really like participating in the program, because I get a say in how things go. I get to give my 2 cents," Denter said. "Even if I don't like a particular rule, by being a mayor, I get firsthand knowledge of why it's there and not through the rumor mill."

Being a mayor can also have its advantages.

"I also get a sense of fulfillment by accomplishing things that positively affect my community," Denter said. "Like, for example, the postwide garage sale we are trying to get going and the construction of a dog park."

Both ideas have never been done on post before, she said.

"I get a sense of community by helping to build my community," Denter said.

To find out more about the program or to volunteer to become a mayor or deputy mayor, call 384-2337 or 428-0126.