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 Joe Williams
Candidate for the Ketchikan Borough Mayor - Three Year Term


Published: Monday
September 19, 2005

Joe Williams

 Joe Williams

for Borough Mayor

He's All About Leadership


Joe was born in Ketchikan, Alaska in 1944. He was raised by his mother and father with three siblings in the Tlingit village of Saxman. He attended public school and graduated from Ketchikan High School. He attended Sheldon Jackson Junior College, Ft. Lewis College, Durango, Colorado, the University of New Mexico, and Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, Alaska. Joe graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in business management.

Since his college graduation he has been employed in various aspects of the business world. He has been employed by Alaska Airlines, Alaska Native Magazine, Alaska Sightseeing/Cruise West, Alaska Brick Company, Alaska Native Foundation, St. George Tinna` Village Corporation, Westmark Cape Fox Lodge, the City of Saxman, and the President of the Organized Village of Saxman. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of Alaska Intertribal Council. Joe served as the tribal co-chair with Attorney General, Bruce Botelho, for the Millennium Agreement between the Tribes and the State of Alaska. For the past 13 years Joe has owned and operated a tour company in Ketchikan/Saxman. He and his family present the Tlingit culture to visitors who come to Ketchikan.

Joe has been married for 32 years to Suzi. They have six children and one grand child. Alaska Federation of Natives selected Joe and Suzi as the Parents of the Year in 1997. Joe has been a Christian for 27 years. He presently resides in the village of Saxman with his family.


I am running for Borough Mayor because I am a leader. I have been learning how to be a leader since I was a young boy. As a young boy I attended Alaska Native Brotherhood &Alaska Native Sisterhood joint meetings and Saxman city council meetings because at times they were held right in our living room in our home. Watching my father and mother be leaders for years taught me how to be a leader. A leader puts the people's request first, not their own, and "be honest". Do what you say you're going to do. This is what my father and mother taught me. I watched my brother Bill follow in our parents' footsteps. He was our state representative for years. My brother Dan was mayor of Saxman for several years. I was elected Tribal President for Saxman for 12 years. During that time I took my leadership experience statewide as vice-chairman of Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, and nationally as alternate Area Vice-President for National Congress of American Indians.

With all that being said what will I do as Mayor?

1. Develop a Plan for the future of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

2. Work closely with the City council of Ketchikan on common issues.

3. Invite other industries to headquarter out of Ketchikan. (We are 90 minutes away from Seattle; some people have more driving time than that.)

4. Be the leader my mother, father, brothers have taught me to be for all the people of Ketchikan.


Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska