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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

My Thoughts on the Borough Mayoral Race

By John Harrington


September 25, 2019
Wednesday PM


Three candidates are running for Ketchikan Borough Mayor: Sidney Hartley, Rodney Dial, and Michelle O’Brien.

Sidney Hartley I don’t know. However, it is always encouraging to see the younger generation taking leadership roles in local government. I would have preferred that she had served before in an elected position. But if she is elected, the Borough Clerk, Kacie Paxton, will be of invaluable assistance, along with the Borough Manager and Attorney. If she seeks their advice she will do fine.

Rodney Dial and I had our first political interaction during the Charter Commission days (ancient history to some). We had a series of very public and somewhat heated interchanges on the value of consolidation. Even though there was a lot of negativity in our discussion. It never reached the point of personal attacks. After the election, we continued to have a few contacts; then he was elected to the Assembly where we served together for a year. I came to appreciate the depth of his knowledge and his willingness to consider other opinions. Rodney’s recent work on the Assembly and with our Congressional Delegation has impressed me. 

Michelle O’Brien and I had several very positive contacts when she worked for K.P.U. I found her delightful to work with. Her service with Rotary by all reports is exemplary. However, in serving with her in elected office I have developed a very different impression. In my 34 years of service in local and state Assemblies, Commissions, and Boards, I have never served with anyone more poorly suited for political office. She talks about collaboration, but then becomes verbally vindictive when someone disagrees with her. 

She has frequently ignored the primary duties of her office but focused on the lesser duties. 

Her divisiveness and vindictiveness, her inability to work with people with contrary positions, her unwillingness to truly understand the responsibilities of her political position makes her the worst choice for Mayor. 

John Harrington
Ketchikan, Alaska


Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received September 24, 2019 - Published September 25, 2019

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