SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Reuniting Communities
By Irene Dundas


February 13, 2006

Community Members,

I read the article in the newspaper the other day in regards to Mr. Joe Williams canceling the previously arranged meetings. It is my point of view that Mr. Williams was not showing favoritism towards his home community of Saxman. What I do see is someone trying to make an issue from nothing. Mr. Williams is the Mayor of the Borough of Ketchikan and the Native community of Saxman. I don't see a conflict of interest either.

Saxman has been in dire straights for the last several years now and I know currently the City of Saxman council has been doing a wonderful job to try pull Saxman out of their situation.

What I felt that Mr. Williams was doing is showing support, to the Borough's next door neighbor. Saxman is a part of the Borough; the City of Saxman pays Borough taxes, such as property taxes to the Ketchikan Borough. The City of Saxman has been struggling to open the doors of the Saxman Community Hall for years now. The doors are open partially, upon waiting for its final opening whenever Saxman receives enough funding to complete the Community Hall. Which I know is the main subject of the City of Saxman's agenda. The City of Saxman needs that Community Hall to be re-opened in its entirety! It is desperately needed for the native communities of Southeast!

The Saxman Community Hall use to host a majority of all the native communities ceremonial and civic activities, such as potlatches, memorial services, funeral services, birthday parties, basket ball tournaments, and many more activities which are so precious to the native people for their ongoing social needs to become more healthier mentally and spiritually.

Has there ever been a Borough meeting or City of Ketchikan meeting in Saxman? The City of Saxman usually hosts native activities, besides the Monthly Grind that is held in the Saxman Tribal House.

I see no issue at all with Mr. Williams canceling other arrangements for the Borough's meetings. I feel that Borough and the City of Ketchikan should be aware that the City of Saxman needs their support. We are a community no matter if we have three different governing entities. We all run into each other at Wal-Mart or at A&P. It's time that the communities hold each other up. It would be nice if the Borough and the City of Ketchikan held more meetings in Saxman. I feel that the Borough Council and the Ketchikan Council should open their eyes, and try to make that connection with the Native community which is long time needed. The City of Saxman needs the support of our neighbors, such as the Ketchikan Borough and the City of Ketchikan. We are a COMMUNITY.

I applaud Mr. Williams for the good work he has been doing.


Irene Dundas
Ketchikan, Alaska

About: Irene Dundas writes she is a "community Member, and concerned citizen".


Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
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