SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Mayor Race
By Liz Hook


September 09, 2008

It is with some relief that I see that Dave Kiffer has filed to run for Mayor. I have been worried that no one would file against Mayor Joe Williams. Mayor Williams has done a good job in many of his functions. However, I have serious concerns related to several of the Mayor's past actions while serving as Mayor for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

On Finances: When asked the direct question, How many times has the Borough paid for the Mayor's lunch? Ex-Borough Manager Roy Eckert stated that in a two year period the borough had paid for more than 75 local lunches for Mayor Williams. This minor fiscal irresponsibility, when compounded with the fact that the borough paid for a couple of round trip tickets to Anchorage so that the Mayor could attend a reception put on by the cruise ship industry and the unveiling of the Alaska quarter, has lead to concerns as to Mayor William s care of the public's finances. Perhaps Mayor Williams doesn't understand the common tax payer's angst over taxes. Mayor Williams should have taken his role as a guardian of the public purse more seriously.

On Politics: It is easy for a politician to begin to take himself too seriously. Yet, simple self-preservation would suggest that one should be tactful and diplomatic when dealing with the press. It was a serious blow to Ketchikan when Mayor Williams publicly and repeatedly criticized Governor Palin, as well as Commissioner van Scheben, to the Press and in public meetings. As one looks at the Governor's vetoes this year, it is pretty obvious she is not happy with our community. Mayor William's outspoken antagonisms may well have cost our community millions of dollars. This is something we can ill afford in these difficult times.

On Public Anger: Generally Mayor Williams does a great job with the public and his showmanship skills are unsurpassed locally. Unfortunately Mayor Williams allows his anger to control his behavior at times. This anger has been disastrous when aimed at the Governor, unprofessional when focused on other local officials; and completely inappropriate and unforgivable when expressed at citizens in public meetings.

Mayor Joe Williams is a good man. But it is time for a change. Please support the election of Dave Kiffer as Mayor.


Liz Hook
Ketchikan, AK

Received September 09, 2008 - Published September 09, 2008


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