Voters Say "Yes"
to Port Revenue Bond
By Marie L. Monyak
April 12, 2006
Ketchikan, Alaska - According to unofficial election results
released Tuesday evening, with a 28% voter turnout, voters have
said "Yes" to Proposition NO. 1 allowing the City to
issue up to $38,500,000 in Port Revenue Bonds. The revenue bonds
will be used to fund the reconfiguration of existing cruise ship
facilities and upland imporvements along the Ketchikan waterfront.
Prior to the announcement of
the unofficial election results, the mood was apprehensive as
members and supporters of Ketchikan for a Positive Economy! arrived
at Steamers Restaurant on Tuesday evening to await the results
of the special Port Bond Election.
Rendering of proposed
Graphic courtesy City of Ketchikan
Mike Holman, a tireless advocate for the Port of Ketchikan Improvements
Project and member of Ketchikan for a Positive Economy!, departed
the gathering and headed for Ketchikan City Hall shortly before
the polls closed at 8:00 P.M. Tuesday. Holman met with Ketchikan
City Clerk Katy Suiter who served as the election supervisor
as prescribed by the Ketchikan Municipal Code. Suiter, with the
assistance of Deputy City Clerk Dorene Smith, Administrative
Assistant to the City Manager Rebecca Brown and City Library
Director Judith Anglin, counted the ballots and tabulated the
Holman was prepared to relay the results by phone to fellow KPE
member Chris Parks who waited anxiously at Steamers. It was
sometime around 8:25 P.M. when Holman contacted Parks with the
returns from Precinct 1 (American Legion). Parks announced to
those assembled that there were a total of 413 votes and the
unofficial results were 270 yes votes to 143 no votes.
With a difference of 127 votes between those for and against
the Port Bond, the crowd at Steamers began to loosen up and replace
their earlier frowns with more relaxed expressions.
Once again Holman contacted Parks with the unofficial results
from Precinct 3 (Alaska Marine Highway Ferry Terminal). With
296 votes for and 160 votes against, the mood at Steamers lightened
considerable as Parks informed the many people that had congregated
The efforts of Ketchikan for a Positive Economy! along with the
city's effort to provide information to the voters was coming
to fruition. The registered voters of the City of Ketchikan
had an opportunity to be heard at the polls.
Awaiting the results of Precinct 2 (Plaza Mall), with the knowledge
that it's the largest precinct, no one at Steamers wanted to
appear too anxious and begin celebrating until the final count
was in. The mood was still restrained.
Zig Ziegler, Co-Chair
for KPE, and other members were all smiles Tuesday evening when
the unofficial election results were announced.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak
Minutes ticked by. Anything could happen at this point. 9:00
P.M., 9:10 P.M., 9:15 P.M., finally at 9:21 P.M., with Holman
on the other end of the phone, Parks announced the unofficial
results of Precinct 2 (Plaza Mall)... 408 yes votes and 175 no
With the final precinct in, the unofficial tally was 974 voters
for the Port Bond and 434 voters against.
With the "Yes" votes ahead by 540 votes, the KPE members
and supporters of the Port Bond felt confident to take that first
relaxed breath before breaking into a noisy chorus of cheers
The business owners, property
owners and concerned citizens that belonged to KPE worked tirelessly
and at their own expense to achieve passage of the port bond.
According to Zig Ziegler, Co-Chair for KPE, this citizen's group
had spent approximately $20,000 to $25,000 of their own money
on advertising, promotions, signs and billboards.
Ziegler also said that KPE's primary focus was to assist the
public in understanding the importance of Berth III and to encourage
a favorable vote. As this was the group's only goal, KPE has
no future purpose after the official results are counted.
Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein was also present at Steamers
and when asked how long it would take for the bond financing
to be completed and construction to begin, he replied, "We
can put the project out for bid before the bond but we just can't
award the contract until the finances are finalized."
With the tourist season just
about to begin there should be plenty of time to complete the
necessary transactions during the summer so that construction
can begin when the last cruise ship leave in September.
When Ziglier was asked how he feels about the fact that borough
residents cannot vote in an election like the Port Bond that
affects everyone on the island, he answered, "It stinks.
It's silly for a community of this size to be broken in two.
Most folks in the borough have some interest in the city limits,
whether it's KPU or their work."
Rich Elliott, another member of KPE sitting close by added, "Every
time consolidation comes up, the borough always votes no."
Elliott, implying that until consolidation is complete, borough
residents will never have a say in the decisions within the city
limits regardless of whether they are affected by the decisions
The Canvas Board will meet
Wednesday morning in the City Council Chamber to count the Absentee
Ballots (114), Special Needs Ballots (12) and Questioned Ballots
On the Web:
Port of Ketchikan Improvements
Marie L. Monyak is
a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
A freelance writer is an uncommitted independent writer
who produces and sells articles to a publisher such as SitNews.
Contact Marie at mlmx1[at]hotmail.com
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