SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Justin Carro

Candidate for Ketchikan Borough Assembly
3-year term - Three Seats Open


Published: September 29, 2008
Received: September 27, 2008

Who I Am:

jpg Justin Carro

Well, to introduce myself to those who don't know me, my name is Justin Carro I was born and raised on a farm in Maine and moved here in High school with my father who was a logger in 1989. After spending several years here, I worked seasonally for a few years and traveled the world in my early 20's then decided to make Ketchikan my permanent residence. I have been married here divorced here and remarried here. I have four children, one of my own creation, (Teaka-8) and three (Cassandra-12, Marcus-11, and Richard-6) I inherited from my very supportive and understanding wife Rita, who I love dearly. She and I currently own and operate Carro-Flagg Enterprises, parent company to Ketchikan Independent Tours, Everyday Alaskan gifts, and Alaskan Go-Fish, all businesses we created here in Ketchikan.
What I do with my Time:

Most of my time during the summer is spent managing our business. I generally am on the docks every day around 6-7 and go home around 8-9 at night. I spend most of the mornings selling tours not just for myself but for other companies here in Ketchikan (48% of overall sales are for other local companies) and in the afternoon I'm in my store (405 Dock Street) selling Alaskan products (62% of which are made by companies located here in Ketchikan). In the late afternoons, I spend my time doing the books and preparing orders to be shipped out for the next day. However, I still find time to work with Ketchikan Youth Initiatives to help them with their entrepreneur mentor program. I still found time on the fourth of July to raise money for the library. I found time to raise money for a scholarship at the local university for any student interested in taking any business class. I spend time volunteering my bus to shuttle people to the Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League field out by Ward Lake. I also use my bus to shuttle kids to and from Vacation Bible School. On Wednesdays, I can be found at the chamber luncheons making sure I am up to date on what is happening with our local economy. As well as spending time helping other business owners work through obstacles and set up their own businesses. I attend most City Council and Borough Assembly meetings, as well as meetings on Port development, and the Down Town Steering Comity meetings as often as I can.

As to my qualifications:

What really does pass for a qualified candidate anymore these days? Traditionally a combination of knowledge, experience, work ethic and attitude define the qualifications of anyone applying for any job so here goes.

For knowledge, I have some book smarts. I went to UAS Ketchikan and received a bachelor degree in General Business with a strong government and marketing focus. I also have studied some master's level economics focusing on public policy development. I have read hundreds of books on Ketchikan and its various facets covering areas ranging from the local mineral survey to port development, the last 3 Comprehensive plans, the Airport development plan, all 6 studies on the bridge that really should go somewhere, the forest service wildlife survey, a lot of really boring environmental impact studies, historical development, archeological surveys, historic preservation guides, transportation studies, local economic trends, bridge surveys, intertie studies, and a lot of other stuff that most people elect other people to read for them so they don't have to. Additionally, as mentioned before I have been attending the meeting s so I at least know as much about what is going on as our existing assembly members.

As far as experience is concerned. It is true I have never been elected to serve as a borough assembly member before. However, I was elected to be student body president when I was in college and subsequently elected Speaker Pro Tem of all the student Leaders The University of Alaska which has about 30,000 students statewide. I did advocate for those students and the local university with the State legislature. I worked with Representative Ken Lancaster as an intern for the legislature as well, so I have a fairly detailed top down view of how the system works, and how the Borough Assembly fits into that picture. Additionally I worked for the local planning department and did an internship with the borough. I worked for a short period in several of their offices including a short period with the Borough Attorney and with the Borough Clerk to gain a better understanding of the workings of those areas of the borough. So, I have a fairly good bottom up perspective as well. I served for a short period as the director of the Ketchikan Small Business Development Center where I spoke with literally hundreds of locals interested in starting their own businesses. Therefore, I know what the local entrepreneur needs.

As far as work ethic is concerned, I challenge you to find one person that has ever hired me that will speak badly of my hard work. I confidently believe there are none that would make such a statement.

The last part is attitude, and for that, I say only through localized wealth accumulation will we find a way to stabilize our economy. The solution does not reside without, but it resides within. It is only through local people creating local jobs that we will find our economic salvation. Anything short of this is just a Band-Aid. No one ever got rich working for someone else. The American Dream is not to work 30 years for someone scraping by so that you can hope to retire someday on what you might be able to save along the way. The American Dream is to grow up strong and intelligent, own your own business and your own home, to live your life pretty much how you like and to never live by another man's leave. Anyone that wants to sell you job placement is selling you short. Its time Ketchikan woke up and took hold of what is rightfully theirs. It is time Ketchikan believed in itself and not only wished for, but demanded better, and made it so. In the words of Elvis Presley it is time for "A little less conversation and a little more action" I'm all for public input and my door is always open, but if we don't start doing something soon, were going to be talking about what we should be doing, should have done and might want to do forever. That's my attitude about it anyway.

I humbly ask for your vote so that I may serve you until you either find someone better to replace me with, my term limit expires, or you feel I would be beter suited for an alternative elected position.

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Ketchikan, Alaska