Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


George Tipton
Candidate for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly - Three Year Term


Published: Tuesday
September 27, 2005

George Tipton

George Tipton

Background & Profile:

Elected to the Assembly in 1995 & 2002.  Served 2 years as Vice Mayor & 4 years as Chair of Board of Equalization.
Member Operating Engineers Local 302 since 1973.  I will retire from the Union on January 1, 2006.
In business and management for 25 years.  Former Terminal & Barge Manager for White Pass Alaska, & Fixed Base Ops Manager for Taquan Air.  Current operating Owner of Ketchikan Entertainment Center.
51 Years old - grew up in Juneau - lived in Fairbanks for 15 years and have resided in Ketchikan since January 1989.
Started Ketchikan Softball Association 16 years ago and have been its leader since then. 
Ketchikan Softball District Commissioner since 1991 and State President for 8 years.
Alaska CHARR Board - 4 years including one year as President & 2 years as Chairman of the Board
17 year member of Elks Lodge #1429 including 3 years as a trustee
Facilities Committee leader for many years
Numerous other committees
I sat on the Parks & Rec Board for many years and helped plan the creation of many of the opportunities that we are now afforded.  These include the Rec Center, the Pool remodel & addition, upgrades & additions to existing parks, trails, facilities & additional ballfields.  The Softball organization that I have headed added many further improvements to the Weiss ballfields when it partnered with the Borough with Money & Labor for construction of dugouts, a bathroom/storage/concession facility, installation of lights and grass and new bathrooms and concessions at Dudley fields.
I also helped put together the plan for a new elementary school and remodels to Valley Park, Houghtaling & Schoenbar.  While the timeline as initially looked at went by the wayside many years ago, the goal remained and we are now almost completed with all of those projects.  This has created first class educational facilities for our community, which is an important asset when people are considering relocating to the community.
I have been a long time supporter of the Shipyard that began before I was ever elected to office when then Mayor Alaire Stanton appointed me to sit on the Shipyard Advisory Committee.  This has culminated in a lot of hard work by a lot of people with over $50M in the current Transportation bill to go towards final completion of the yard.
I helped secure Federal dollars for the community for the following projects each of the last 3 years:  the Airport, water & sewer improvements in the South Tongass area and a new sewage ttreatment facility at Ward Cove.


Position Statement:

I believe I have the proven experience and leadership and it is reflected in my decision making on behalf of all of the citizens.  In 1992, 3 years before I was elected the to the Assembly the 1st time, I began attending the meetings.  I attended over 85% of them during the next 3 years prior to running for office.  I believe this reflects my dedication & committment to the task you are electing me to handle on your behalf.
I have always been open and accessible to all citizens and many will tell you I have always returned their calls and/or e-mails to discuss the issue on their mind. ( This even included Don Huddle over the years).
I will support the communities wishes on Consolidation but I like it chances much better because it was brought forward by the citizens and the board was elected by the community.  I believe there can be more efficiencies, less confusion among the little person or the un-informed, we can speak as one unified voice from the community and everyone will then have a say in City matters such as docks, KPU, etc.
I have always supported economic development.  My track record has reflected this.  This particular segment can be for resource based industry, tourism, small businesses standing alone or supporting a larger endeavor.  It is the combination of many factors including the support of government through proper infrastructure or just staying out of the way, to help these new endeavors survive.  We will have additional dollars in our coffers once all the money is received from the various sales of Ward Cove properties.  I remember the Blue Ribbon committee and the KEDA board and these type of endeavors should handle the investment dollars to keep it out of the political circle.  There are many proven examples across the country of how to leverage this money into 10 or 20 fold or even more.  We have been given a 2nd chance and we should have that on top of additional development in Ward Cove.
I am usually asked the question if I support full funding for education.  I have voted to fund to the cap as well as a vote to so call "underfund".  I believe this issue must be looked at with each budget as presented and it must stand on its merits.  Education is the Biggest and Number One function of the Borough government and cannot be taken lightly.  This last year we funded $350,000 outside the cap and according to some "short-funded" the District by the same amount.  In reality they were given a dollar  amount that equals funding to the cap.  With the possibility that their student count numbers have increased considerably, we will probably be well short of the potential maiximum contribution.  This does not mean that the community cannot tell us part way throught he year to help them out with more money.  Perhaps it would be earmarked to cover the increased cost of the fuel oil.  As an Assembly member we have a responsibility to all of the citizens and we must balance the educational needs with other needs & desires that the community wishes.  I proposed the 1/2% sales tax increase to help fund the current bond indebtedness for Schools and additional debt service that we were going to take on.  I also asked that this money be allowed to help cover the cost of insurance as an in-kind service for the District, since that cost was rising each year.  You, the voters, overwhelmingly agreed and this gave the community an additional source of revenue to help with general fund monies that are used to pay for Education and General government.  Without it, we would have been forced to make many more tough decisions.
It has been my privilege to have sat on the Assembly from 1995-98 and again from 2002-05 as well as serving in many varying capacities to help better the Ketchikan area.  Thank you for this and I hope that you support me with your trust and your Vote for proven Leadership & Experience for another 3 year term. 

Please vote on October 4th or cast your ballot absentee at the Clerk's office prior to then.
George H. Tipton
h  (907) 225-6392
w (907) 225-9011



Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska