Candidate for the Ketchikan City Council - Three Year Term
Hello, my name is Eric Lunde and Ketchikan is my hometown. I went to high school here, I got my first job here, I met my wife here, and this is where I plan on raising children. I currently work as a fishing guide, but I have also been employed in the timber, commercial fishing, and maritime industries. I recently started my own small business. Every once in a while my wife, Kara, and I look around at the scenery and say, "Wow, we live here." I love this town and that is why I'm running for City Council.
Here are some problems and issues I think are important:
Responsible tourism development
Tourism is rapidly becoming one of the community's most important economic engines, providing opportunities for a multitude of small businesses. However, like many industries, rapid development creates problems. Congestion and crowding on some days rival rush hour in a large city. I believe the recent failure of the bond issue was a message to the city that people want to see these taken care of before expanding the port. Investing the "head tax" money in better sidewalks, walkways and other upland infrastructure first will not only make our town a nicer place to live but also a nicer place to visit.
Drug abuse is a destructive, widespread, and sometimes deadly problem in our community. While an ordinance limiting the access to methamphetamine precursor drugs can send a strong message, there are other ways to combat this problem. If this city is serious about fighting substance abuse and addiction it needs to make sure that Gateway Center for Human Services, a city agency, is equipped with the trained personnel, funding, and resources to do so. I also believe that funding local non-profits that deal with this issue would be a good investment.
There are many who feel there is a disconnect between the people and their city government. One way to help people get involved in the decision making process would be to restructure the council meeting format so that public comment could be heard while the agenda item is actually being discussed by the council instead of hours before. People who come to speak before the council do so because the issues being discussed have great impact on their lives. People want to feel that their comments are part of the discussion, listened to, and have a chance to sway the vote of the council. In addition, when big issues are being discussed the council could meet at the Civic Center so no one has to stand in the hall where it's hard to hear.
Garbage, Recycling, and Bears.
Long term, I would like to pursue a local solution to our solid waste. Currently, the city ships most of the household waste and recyclables to Washington at great expense. Because the sale of some recyclables can offset the cost of shipping the city should encourage people to recycle as part of a short-term solution. Also, I think the city should look into installing locking mechanisms on garbage can lids in bear problem neighborhoods.
I believe the city should make it a priority to advocate for the Swan Lake-Lake Tyee Intertie project and pursue the long-term goal of connecting to the North American power grid.
In a city blessed with over 165 inches of rain per year, clean and safe drinking water should almost be a right. However, treating the water can be expensive, especially now that we must find a solution to our chlorination byproduct problems. Perhaps a joint venture with private industry, i.e. a bottled water company, could lessen the cost of filtration should it become necessary.
These are my current thoughts on these issues but if elected to city council I promise to keep an open mind and always try to look at things from multiple angles. With hard work and creativity we can keep this town a place we are proud of, a place where our children can say, "Wow, we live here."
If you have questions or comments
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.