Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Assembly District 2 candidate Michelle Bonnet Hale introduced herself to voters on Action Line Thursday.
"I'm a life long Alaskan. My father was Herb Bonnet of Juneau fame and my mother and my mother's family is from Petersburg. I've got a pretty diverse background. I grew up in Juneau, but when I was 11 we moved down to the west coast of Prince of Wales, so I've lived in the bush. I've fished. I still have a hand troll permit actually, but then I went off to school and got a degree in chemistry and basically did my 30 year career in water quality."
She explained that she worked on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She ran a private lab, Montgomery Watson, in Lemon Creek. She worked as an environmental coordinator at the Kensington Mine. Untill last year she was the director of the Division of Water at DEC. "In that position I dealt with lots of controversy and lots of tough topics so I'm no stranger to those tough topics," she said. Following her retirement from state, Hale started a small business selling her father's art work.
When asked whey she decided to run for the Assembly Hale said, "I long wanted to serve at the local level. In that job as director I felt that I could do some good at the state level, but it can be very frustrating. It's hard to get things done and you're less connected to the issues. At the local level it is truly where the rubber meets the road. It's filling pot holes, but its also dealing with issues like child care which is a problem for so many people. And you're actually able to as an Assembly member, as a member of that deciding body, you're able to make a difference in people's lives more immediately."