Ketchikan City Council Candidate
3 year term (two seats vacant)
Lifelong resident (58 years) of Ketchikan, married, three grown children, two of which live in Ketchikan. Owned and operated my own business (Gaffney's Mens Wear) for 30 years, closed the store in 1992 and have held a variety of jobs since then. I have the time and willingness to serve another three year term on the council.
I have spent 9 of the last 10 years as a member of the City Council, and feel that during my tenure on the Council I have always used common sense when making my vote on all matters that effect the lives of all the citizens of Ketchikan. I am a conservative by nature, but if you check my voting record over the years that I have served, you will find that I'm also practical when placing my vote.
I am very much in favor of consolidation, and have been for the whole period of time that consolidation and unification have been talked about over the past 30 years. If the people had voted in consolidation 2 years ago I don't believe that we would be having the problems that we are seeing in local government today.
I have supported and will continue to support the finishing of the electrical intertie between KPU/Swan Lake and Lake Tyee. It is the first step in an intertie that will eventually connect all of the power projects in SE Alaska which will eventually produce low-cost power to all residents of SE.
As it appears that the only viable industry in the foreseeable future for Ketchikan is tourism, the city needs to continue to look at all options for expansion of the port facilities to accommodate the increasing numbers of visitors who wish to visit our fair city. But not only do we need to look at the expansion of the port itself but also the updating and expansion of facilities on shore to handle the increasing numbers of visitors. But in making these expansions we cannot forget what makes Ketchikan what it is, and what it is that keeps us all living here.
The past couple of years the city & KPU budgets both have had problems in having balanced budgets, in fact there has been deficits made up from reserves to balance the budgets. Over the next couple of years the council is going to have to make some very difficult decisions as to possible rate increases as well as possible tax increases to cover the continued increases we are seeing in the costs of delivering the levels of services that the citizens have come accustomed to, or find the areas that costs can be trimmed so that services and the costs for them can remain the same as they have been. Personally when it comes to cost saving measures nothing should be removed from the table of discussion.
There are many other issues that will have to be addressed also, falling State revenue sharing, unfunded State mandates, costs that all of the tax payers endure. I welcome any and all questions, and will try and reply to them all through this forum, that way all who frequent "Sitnews" will have the opportunity to see the questions as well as the response.
Thank you, and please remember to vote on Tuesday, October 7th.