Regular Election - October 05, 2021
Candidate for Ketchikan City Council 2021
Candidate for Ketchikan City Council 2021
I love to learn and have nearly four years of college under my belt, but it’s my experience in a variety of sectors in Ketchikan that makes me uniquely qualified for the job. I came to Ketchikan in 1982 and over the years I’ve been self-employed as a music teacher, a drywall contractor, and visitor industry attraction, all while I punched a clock in insurance, banking, and securities, non-profit and for-profit bookkeeping, waitressing, and grocery where I was a radio personality, a shop steward, and a start-up deli manager. I have been heavily involved in the performing arts and spent five years as chair of the Performing Arts Center committee. During that time, I stood in front of the City Council and Borough Assembly many times and learned how the system works. We successfully bought the building after I successfully negotiated a collaboration between two groups, but were a victim of the oil crash, right when we had achieved top ranking on the legislative agenda to retrofit the structure. It can be heart-breaking, but sometimes you have to take half a win.
Our town, not unlike many others, is feeling the weight of a mental health crisis. The hopeless are living on the streets, or escaping into dangerous drugs, overdosing and committing suicide. In Ketchikan, we are one big family. We don’t have this side of town or that side of town. This is our town, and these are our people. The overnight shelter will be a godsend, but we also need to focus on keeping residents well, so that future generations don’t degrade into the same situation. Healthy activities are key. Grass on the ballfield will be wonderful, and outlets like the arts for the non-sports inclined are also important. There is a glaring need is for more mental health facilities and half-way houses to support those fighting to stay clean and sober.
The police are short-staffed and spending way too much time acting as caretakers. They’re called to herd around the indigent, which gives them less time to hunt drug dealers and other law-breakers in the community. Our police are being vilified and dash cams are needed, so we can stop arguing about what they could or could not have done, and they can get on with protecting our community.
I am always looking for a better way and love to collaborate and build consensus. I like to think outside of the box, and I’m never happy with the status quo. One bit of status quo that has been bothering me is the inequitable sales tax caps. Why do the low-income renters ($1000/mo # $65) pay the same amount of sales tax as the more affluent renters ($2500/mo @ $65)? Why do we have to suffer the crazy bookkeeping nightmares of the cap system? It would save a lot of man hours in our businesses and in city hall, if it were a flat percentage. We don’t have the car dealers to protect anymore, and there aren’t that many things you’re going to buy here that are over $2000. Don’t even get me started on the construction nightmares of keeping track of draws that were taken in one quarter and must be explained in another quarter. I could see real estate having a lower flat percentage instead. Let’s talk about it. It’s always been that way, is never a good answer.
I would like to brainstorm winter festivals that could bring people in. What about an “I Survived the Fall of Ketchikan,” festival? We could have blustery outdoor activities for an Octoberfest that might bring in thrill-seeking visitors who want to prove themselves, with deer drags, slimy fish gathering, icy water plunges, arrow obstacle shooting, etc. What about marketing cross-country skiing in January and February?
Ketchikan is a beautiful place, with a rich native culture and renowned artistry. I want to help keep it beautiful and healthy, in mind, body, and totem pole. We have some tough budget decisions to make, and as a sole proprietor, I have experience with that. We must tighten the purse strings, but even in the toughest times, we need diversions that keep us sane, and first responders to keep us safe.
I hope you can find it in your heart to vote for me. If you would like more information, please see my webpage at: lalessons.com/city-council
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|Ketchikan Regular Election October 05, 2021 - Tuesday
Early & In-Person Absentee Voting Begins September 20, 2021
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