I am currently finishing my fourth term on the City Council, although not all of them are consecutive. My first term was in 1994 and it will be almost eleven years in total this October that I have served my constituents as a council member. I have managed a local business for the last 29 years and have involved myself heavily in youth sports programs as a coach and as a play-by-play announcer. I have been married to Bridget for 22 years and we have two sons, Nate (a 2004 Kayhi graduate), and Trevor, now a Senior at Kayhi. We have made Ketchikan our home because of the lifestyle it offers and the great people that we are blessed to have in our community. I am also a 28 year member of Rotary 2000 that has contributed charitably to many local causes over the years.
I am running for my own seat on the City Council to primarily complete work that has already begun on major projects. Most important on that list of projects is the Swan-Tyee Electrical Intertie, that has been stymied by our state government. After spending over 50 million dollars on the Intertie to date, it would be an injustice to not complete it. Without a guaranty for an adequate future power supply, our hopes of further development on Revilla and Gravina Islands will be severely jeopardized. It is imperative that our next governor and the state legislature understands the urgency of completing our intertie project and that work commences on it as soon as possible.
Another key component of our future economic health is the addition of Berths 3 and 4. Now that the bond election has passed to expand Berth 3 and to improve Casey Moran Harbor, it will be important to complete that project as soon as is possible. Together with the partnership that the City has with Survey Point Holdings on Berth 4, we can finally bring our dock facilities up to par with where we needed to be few years ago. We have lost approximately 100,000 passengers this year from the lack of berthing space. Considering that tourism is now our main industry, I believe that we have made good decisions as a community to enhance our ability to accommodate the larger vessels.There will be direct benefits from the construction of Berths 3 and 4 other than the collection of adequate sales tax revenue. The revitalization of the Newtown area and improved access in the downtown core with wider sidewalks and a promenade will be a benefit to all of us.
The City of Ketchikan (including K.P.U.) is currently in good shape financially. We are fortunate to have an experienced General Manager, a strong management team and finance director. They along with their employees have been assets for all of us. The City Council has been fiscally responsible over the years and has managed to set aside decent reserves that will be needed at some point for General Government and Ketchikan Public Utilities purposes. We have made a large commitment to overhaul our antiquated hydroelectric facilities, sewer and water lines and to upgrade our drinking water treatment facilities. K.P.U. Telecommunications faces some huge challenges with its current competition. Many vital decisions have and will need to be made to insure its success in a technology market that seems to change on a weekly basis. On top of all of that are the unknowns, such as the effect of the state head tax and increases in PERS and insurance costs. Together with the fact that state funding has gone away for our harbors, etc., our reserves will come in very handy under the various scenarios that we may face.
On a topical matter, I do support consolidation. I feel that in the long run it would be beneficial to have just the one government and finally have the ability for all of our citizens to vote on port, K.P.U., hospital and other issues that they were previously unable to. I am very curious to see how it will turn out this time.
On another important subject, I have been a proponent for our local non-profit agencies and will continue to support programs for those people in need, including the seniors and youth of our community. Without these services, Ketchikan wouldn't be the caring place that it is
I believe that I bring a business sense to the council and that I am very accessible to the public, as many of you have found out over the years. I enjoy working with the current councilmembers and with Mayor Weinstein, who have all done an admirable job. My hope for our future is that we can continue to grow our economy and eventually become a more diverse community that can provide year-round jobs for our children and grandchildren. It can happen, but not without a lot of hard work and perseverance.
Please exercise your right to vote and cast your ballot on October 3rd. Your voice is important!