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Candidates' Forum
Responses to Readers' Questions

Bob Weinstein
Ketchikan City Mayor Candidate
3 year term (1 seat vacant)
About the Candidate


Published: Tuesday
September 23, 2003
Last updated: Monday - 09/29/03 - 10:55 pm

Bob Weinstein

Bob Weinstein
PO Box 7801
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
Phone: 247-8103

Questions For Candidates For Ketchikan City Mayor

Reader's question #1. The mayor represents the city when traveling on official business. What impression do you want people to have of Ketchikan and how will you achieve it? (09/19/03)

check Response to question #1 (Published 09/23/03)

One important role of the Mayor is to function as an "ambassador" for the community. When I travel representing Ketchikan, I often come into contact with local officials from other communities, as well as state and federal officials. I do my best to present information about our community, explain our position on various issues, and work with others for the betterment of the community, the region and the state. I do my best to give people the impression that Ketchikan is a vibrant, optimistic, hard working community with lots of wonderful people. During my six years as Mayor my goal has been to continue to keep Ketchikan as a great place to live, and working with others helps achieve that goal.


Questions For All Candidates

Reader's Question #1. Do you think it responsible of the Borough to increase our taxes to provide more convenient working (new government building) conditions, when the old mill offices are available to them while kids in this town fight for space to recreate. (09/22/03)

check Response to question #1 (Published 09/23/03)

We need a Mayor with a solid record of fiscal responsibility. City residents need to know that their money is being spent wisely, that our spending patterns reflect community priorities, and that local government can maintain budget discipline. Since I have been Mayor, we have been able to improve services to our citizens despite significant reductions in state revenue sharing. I am proud of the fact that the city is in good financial shape today-without raising property or sales taxes.


Reader's Question #2. Many candidates have suggested they would make staff cuts as either the sole means of achieving fiscal responsibility or staff cuts combined with revenue increases. Which Borough staff and/or departments do these candidates feel are superfluous and expendable? Or if not that, least important to retain. (09/22/03 2:40 pm)

check Response to question #2 (Published 09/23/03)

I am running for a City office, not Borough. See answer to #1.


Reader's Question #3. If the city of Ketchikan has all this extra money in the bank, should city taxes be reduced to give taxpayers a break? Why is the city looking for so many ways to spend our money on lavish and expensive projects such as new library and museum construction?

check Response to question #3 (Published 09/29/03 -10:55 pm)

The City is in good financial shape because we have a fiscally responsible mayor, council, and management team. At the same time, we have a number of fiscal challenges. The Governor vetoed safe communities/municipal assistance and matching grant programs, which mean a loss to the city of about $600,000 per year. Health insurance costs are rising, and due to the stock market of the past few years a significant increase is expected in the charge the state makes for the public employee retirement system.

Fortunately, our operating reserves will help us meet these challenges. In addition, we are planning to renovate the Long Term Care Unit at the hospital. Bids are expected to be opened soon; the cost of this project is $2.5-3 million, and it will be paid for out of the Hospital Sales Tax Reserve.

While we are working on plans to replace and/or renovate our nearly 40 year old library and museum. I think we are doing this in a responsible manner. We are looking at what our needs will be for a number of years, and developing concepts for these projects which will show basic design, location, cost, and so on. No one I know in city government is talking about "lavish" projects. In addition, once we figure out what we need through careful planning, we should be able to get private and other funds to help build projects for which we can demonstrate a need. I encourage anyone who visits Haines to visit their beautiful new library, which was built with a combination of funds local, federal, and foundation funds.

The bottom line is that I think the City is managing public money relatively well, and that planning for any new project will proceed through careful planning with substantial public involvement.




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Ketchikan, Alaska