The main reason I'm in this race is to take our City into the future and address near and long-term goals in planning and community development.
As a Ketchikan City Council member, I will work to create cooperation between the Borough and the City for the benefit of all of us. As a past Borough Assembly member and KIC Tribal Council President, I know the challenges facing our community and bring the experience to effect change. In the next election we will be asked to limit future jewelry stores from opening no closer than 200 feet from each other. I appreciate the opportunity to weigh in on this and am thankful for the much needed discussion on community planning this initiative started.
As a community we need to start addressing the challenges of the future today. I don't believe the first step should be limiting the amount of jewelry stores in our downtown business district. Instead we should implement a community plan that includes public transportation on both land and sea to allow locals and visitors alike to see more of our fair city and help relieve traffic congestion. Parking is another issue to be addressed so more of us locals can enjoy the downtown. Other improvements to be considered are wider sidewalks with seating areas, public bathrooms, and landscaping that will encourage our residents and visitors alike to get out and see more of what our city has to offer. We also need to identify what our town should look like. When I developed a small commercial building on Stedman St., the Stedman-Thomas Street Design Guidelines were uses as the basis for design. This insured the historic integrity of the neighborhood was preserved. A growing economy is crucial for the quality of life for our residents, and planning is the first step to accomplish this goal.
The Swan Lake-Tyee Lake Electrical Intertie will provide a dependable, clean and inexpensive source of power that will stimulate economic growth and provide heat and lights for all our citizens. The fiber optic cable that GCI is bringing to town will attract more technology- based businesses that rely on dependable fast communication. The new container port in Prince Rupert will be a godsend to our community as it will open up markets nation-wide to goods produced right here. The Shipyard will continue to prosper with a commitment from the policy makers to maintain a business friendly environment. Continuing to improve our infrastructure is crucial to the tourism industry and residents alike. It all hangs on the community and our neighbors making some wise choices.
One of my business philosophies is local hire. When my partner and I developed a small commercial building on Stedman St., we were committed to using local materials, designers, engineers, plumbers, electricians, suppliers and contractors. We did this because we know that local dollars mean local jobs and a better economy. As a City Council member I will fight to include as many of our local talents as we can to keep jobs here and strengthen our local economy.
76% of us don't smoke; I'm in favor of smoke free work places that could include bars and restaurants. With the known dangers of second hand smoke we need to protect our workers and the public from second hand smoke. I'm in favor of bringing this question to the voters.
I'm in favor of eliminating the unethical sales tax on residential rent and food. With millions of dollars in reserve in the City coffers it doesn't make sense to me to continue taxing food and rent. This tax is largely a tax on the poor and literally takes food and shelter away from those who can least afford to pay it and puts those dollars in the City's savings account.
There is no better social program then a good job. I will do all I can to create a business friendly community with a high quality of life. It is my dream that we will build a Ketchikan with a future for your kids and mine that includes a good job, great schools, a vibrant arts community, and a healthy environment. For me, leadership isn't anything, it's everything.
I'm asking for your vote October 2, 2007. Thanks for listening.