SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Candidate for Borough Assembly
By Tyrell Rettke


September 05, 2008

While I have used SIT News many times to express various views and as a means to communicate various events that I have been a part of, today it is my honor to use it as a way to introduce myself to the entire community in more detail than ever before.

I have, as those who keep up with such things will have no doubt seen, put my name in the hat for one of the three spots available for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly. I have not done this lightly. There were many instances that people whom I know and respect, and those who I had never met have come up to me after various speeches I have given while executing the duties as President of Ketchikan Youth Initiatives, or after presentations to the City Council, School Board, Borough Assembly, or Chamber of Commerce, and told me that I should get into local politics, from the other side of the table. I always denied these suggestions, citing a distrust of politicians, or likely disownment by my parents, however in recent months, these suggestions became requests and I could no longer deny them, and here I am today, a bona fide candidate.

Here is a little background about myself, for those who might be interested. I am 23 years old, and was born in Wyoming, and lived in Montana for about 5 years, and in Ketchikan for the last 18. (I did not really live in Wyoming for more than a few months). I graduated from Ketchikan High School in 2004, and quickly was recruited to work at Schallerer s Photo, where many of those reading will remember me from. I worked with that store as a general manager and photographer until it was closed in 2007. I now work, seasonally, for the City of Ketchikan, ports and Harbor, as an assistant Harbor Master, supervising a crew of up to 39 people for security and crossing guards for the cruise ship docks down town. Some of you will know me from that position, constantly walking the docks, keeping things running smoothly, with thousands of people crushing into our small town.

Other jobs that I have done include working the cannery, which used to be a right of passage, and also tendering for a sea cucumber diver for the last season, and the upcoming season.

I am a founding member and the President of Ketchikan Youth Initiatives, as mentioned above. This organization is dedicated to empowering young people in the community to make the community a better place for them to grow up in. This has included the development of alternate sports activities such as a Paintball Field, and currently under way projects like a Covered Skate Park and the Water Warehouse Community Center, as well as smaller events such as community gatherings to cope with lost friends and an activities Expo to exhibit and showcase local activities that are currently available in our community.

I have many interests and hobbies which all together are not a common assemblage and make birthday shopping quite the hassle, I m told. I am an avid Photographer, having done it as a living for a time. This compliments my love of the outdoors nicely, including hiking, fishing, camping, and boating. While I don t hunt very often, I do enjoy shooting and anything to do with firearms. I find history fascinating, especially ancient history. I am a tinker-er who loves to take things apart and see what makes them tick. I find science fascinating, physical sciences, but also biology to some extent. I am a collector of many things, most notably coins, friends and witty sayings. I love jokes and find most anything amusing. I have played guitar for 8 years, much to my neighbors dismay. I love to read, mysteries, non-fiction, crime, sci-fi, classics, novels, short stories, ghost stories, magazines, and basically anything that can capture my imagination. I enjoy movies of all genres, but comedy and horror seem to be the most captivating. I enjoy The history channel, the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel, as well as most any comedy show, and I m also a sucker for LOST. (my one true addiction) I am open and honest, two things that we do not usually associate with politicians, but I think that anyone who has talked to me for any length of time will agree that I am.

Some things that I believe in most strongly are that Ketchikan is my home and that I want to remain my home. It feels like home to me even when my parents moved away, and I stayed, much to their dismay. (Or at least they acted dismayed).

-I believe that Ketchikan has some major issues being faced now, and some that will surface in the coming years. I think that these are major issues but ones that we can overcome and plan for to mitigate the impact of.

-I believe that nearly every issue, social and political, can be boiled down to financial. I also believe that any government must be fiscally responsible with the public s money and open about what it is doing.

-I believe that public works projects, paid for with federal and state funding are a great tool to increase jobs during an economic downturn such as we are seeing, as well as a way to ensure proper facilities for the population are available.

-I believe that our young people are our future and we need to invest in them. We need to give them reasons to finish school, and to want to stay here, or come back here. They need support and they need to feel part of the process.

-I believe that we need to encourage new businesses to start here, as well as open up opportunities for existing businesses to be more efficient in their operations. We need to nurture the industries we have, but also develop new industries that could be.

I am very open to discussions and talking about ideas and problems. Please feel free to email me about the topics I ve listed here, or ones that I haven t. If you are interested in helping me campaign for election to the Assembly, also email me, I can always use an extra hand. If you would like to contribute time or money to help my campaign to become part of your Borough Assembly, please drop me a line. RETTKE@KPUNET.NET.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter, and I hope to hear from many of you over the next three years so that we can work together to improve Ketchikan in all its facets.

Tyrell Rettke
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I am a Candidate for Borough Assembly."

Received September 05, 2008 - Published September 05, 2008


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