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Readers' Questions
Candidates' Forum

Last Question Update: Saturday - 10/04/03 - 2:15 pm
Deadline for submitting questions 10/05/03....


First Published: Monday
September 15, 2003


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Candidates' Responses to Questions


check  Questions For All Candidates

Reader's Question #1. (09/22/03)

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.

Reader's Question #2. (09/22/03 2:40 pm)

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.

Reader's Question #3. (09/25/03 - 1:00 pm)

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 Questions For Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly Candidates

Reader's question #1. (09/15/03)

What planning methods would you use for future projects?

Reader's question #2. (09/15/03)

Several if not all of the candidates have stated that the Assembly should "fully fund" the school district. What obligation does the Assembly have, if any, to insure that the funding is wisely used by the school district ?

Reader's question #3. (09/16/03)

Recently the current Assembly increased our property taxes and refused to make significant cuts in Borough grants to non profit special interest groups. In at least one case, the Borough obligates local taxpayers to pay for services from the UAS Ketchikan Campus that, according to Statute, should be paid by State funds.

Should local residents be forced to pay for University services that are an obligation of the State?

How can we bring some sort of control and spending limit on this Borough grants program?

Should we continue this Borough grants program when we are forced to cut required services such as the Borough bus? Thank you!

Reader's question #4. (09/22/03 - 11:30 pm)

In light of the current and continuing tight budget situation within the borough, what is your position with regard to the possibility of raising taxes to increase revenues? And if you favor increased taxation, how would you accomplish it? i.e. property tax increase, head tax, increased user fees, etc.

Reader's question #5. (09/28/03 - 11:50 pm)

Have you ever been asked to be dishonest as part of your job? If so, how did you handle it? Would you lie to, or mislead, the public if you felt the public would ultimately benefit?

Reader's question #6. (10/04/03 - 2:15 pm)

What do you think could be done to keep good jobs here in Ketchikan that are or might be exported to employees down south? And what more could the Borough do to promote new, good paying jobs?


check Questions For Ketchikan School Board Candidates

Reader's question #1. (09/15/03)

I, along with several hundred (at last count, about 600) parents, home school or send our children to private schools. I do not object to having my tax dollars go to funding public education. However, I have a difficult time swallowing when public tax dollars are used to fund activities or items that are outside of classroom instruction or for the up keep of buildings. Recently, some members of the current school board (along with some teachers) laid the blame on the Assembly for the lack of paper towels in their classrooms. (did anyone think of asking each student to bring a roll of paper towels to school with them?) My question is this, if you are elected or re-elected to the school board what are your priorities for funding in the budget? And, what if anything can be done to improve relationships between the School board and the Assembly?

Reader's question #2. (09/18/03)

When is the Ketchikan School Board going to stop these endless requests for "helping hands" from Ketchikan taxpayers long after the budget has been passed?

When is the Ketchikan School board going to start developing some budget discipline and start working within the limits of approved budgets?

Reader's question #3. (10/02/03 - 10:20 pm)

For over a decade there has been a huge problem with the drop out rate here in Ketchikan. Over the years many candidates for school board always express a concern but nothing ever gets done after they are elected to really address the problem. Over in Craig, Alaska, they have started a pilot project to address the drop out rate. It is designed to reach the kids who have already dropped out, draw them back into an educational setting and to keep other kids who may be considering dropping out in an educational setting. Furthermore, P.A.C.E. which is a charter school part of the Craig School District, has managed to attract so many students that enrollment this year was cut off at 600 with the other students being referred to other charter schools similar to P.A.C.E.

If elected to the school board would you consider this district entering an agreement with the P.A.C.E. program like other districts have and would you as a board member consider looking into the pilot program that Craig has started this year ?

Reader's question #4. (10/02/03 - 10:20 pm)

If part of the problem with students dropping out or students choosing other educational options has to do with district policies? Would you as a board member try to effect some changes ?

Reader's question #5. (10/02/03 - 10:20 pm)

Why hasn't Ketchikan considered having a charter school that would address the drop out rate instead of having two elementary charter schools ?

Reader's question #6. (10/02/03 - 10:20 pm)

What as a board member are you willing to do to stop some of "labeling" done by teachers on students who they deem to be "problems"? Do you think this has something to do with the high drop out rate in this district?

Reader's question #7. (10/02/03 - 10:20 pm)

The community of Ketchikan has a huge number of wonderful sports programs such as the Ketchikan Dribblers League, Little League baseball, the Ketchikan Youth Soccer League, bowling leagues, a running club to name but a few. Ketchikan also has many opportunites available to students interested in art or music that are not part of the school district. Wouldn't it be cheaper for this district to pay in full or part of the fees for students to take part in these activites instead of using educational dollars out of a school budget that is already streched to the max?


check Questions For Candidates For Ketchikan City Mayor

Reader's question #1. (09/19/03)

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?

Reader's question #2. (09/24/03 - 10:50 pm)

I heard today at the Chamber Luncheon, about the tremendous reserves held by the city, and KPU. Do you believe the City of Ketchikan can fund the total Student Activities funds, and should they? I believe this is basically a social function. I also remember that KPU Telephone is supported by the entire Borough, and helps to clear some of the water costs of the city. Thanks.

Reader's question #3. (09/25/03 - 1:00 pm)

Employee moral within the City of Ketchikan departments is an all time low, in part due to the City Manager's lack of responding to employee complaints. Specifically, the Police Department is a mess; complaints have been lodged on numerous occasions, but nothing seems to happen. As Mayor what would you do to clean up this mess?

Reader's question #4. (10/01/03 - 12:45 pm) Why has only one mayoral candidate responded to the question dealing with low morale among City employees, more specifically, the police department?


check Questions For Ketchikan City Council Candidates

Reader's question #1. (09/15/03)

What role, if any, should the City Council play in getting better, more reliable internet service from KPU?

Reader's question #2. (09/23/03 8:05 pm)

Last spring the Borough Manager eliminated three department directors positions to save money and keep rank and file workers on the job. Could the City do the same thing to save money? Could the Library Director and Museum Director positions be eliminated and their responsibilities transfered to the Assistant City Manager?

Reader's question #3. (09/30/03 12:55 pm)

How do you make your hardest decisions?

How do you feel about our economy and how are you going to improve it?

What is your position on animal rights?

What do you think about the jewelry stores in Ketchikan that bring their own workers here, then leave? How is it helping Ketchikan?



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Ketchikan, Alaska