SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Regular Election Oct. 04, 2022
Early & In-Person Absentee Voting Begins 09/19/22

Ketchikan City Council
3 Year Term (2 Seats Open)

Lallette Kistler


Received: September 06, 2022
Published: September 07, 2022

Hello Sitnews Folks!

jpg Lallette Kistler Candidate for Ketchikan City Council - October 04, 2022

I was appointed to the City Council last November to fill Mayor Kiffer’s vacated spot and feel like I’ve just barely gotten my feet wet. I was less than forty votes shy of winning a spot through the election process last year, which is pretty good since I was running against an incumbent and a second-time runner. I hope I can do better this time.

After 40 years in Ketchikan reading the newspaper diligently, I thought I knew what the City Council position would entail, but I now know that there is much more to it than I thought. With all the infrastructure and the utilities to manage, along with social issues and economic development to address, there is a lot to learn, and I don’t want to waste what I have learned. I listen with an open mind, I’m honest to a fault, and I don’t take offense easily, which I think is important.

Not only do I have the background of being on the council for the last year, but I also have the background of a myriad of different occupations and activities within Ketchikan, which helps me understand and relate to the residents who come before the council. That is not to say that I’m one of those people who moves from job to job. No, I just like to do a lot of different things at once. I did a little waitressing when I first came to town then moved to Tatsuda’s where I went from checker to the meat department, then stocking, and finally opening and managing the deli. I was also a radio personality on the Tatsuda Birthday Book and the union Shop Steward.

After 7 ½ years at Tatsuda’s, I spent 29 years at State Farm where I was the office manager and learned every facet of the business. I was highly respected for my knowledge throughout the state. I love to learn and was not only proficient in insurance sales and service, but banking including mortgages, and mutual funds and retirement plans obtaining a securities license with the SEC. Those years in the insurance industry taught me how to listen and deal with disgruntled customers, just as I now often deal with disgruntled residents. Everyone wants to be heard and deserves to be heard.

With my day job secured at State Farm, I was able to use my college education in Music and Theatre to start my music lesson business. Music is now my primary occupation, and I may never retire. Another side job for 35 years was the bookkeeping for our construction business. We closed our business when my husband retired, but I picked up some bookkeeping jobs for a church and a contractor a few years back.

I have been heavily involved with the First City Players over the years and was the Chair of the Performing Arts Center committee where I successfully brought two groups to the table so that we could garner the funds from the Assembly and Council to purchase the building were the FCP currently resides. My endeavors as an owner/performer the “Ketchikan Frontier Revue” also gave me valuable insight into the Visitor industry.

I recently became the director of the Ketchikan Community Chorus, and I like to encourage singers of all abilities to participate, because I know how important music can be to the well-being of a person. Ketchikan is lucky to have a thriving arts community, and I think it is very important to support them. Not everyone is an athlete, and all people need something to make them feel valuable. Depression is a very real threat to many of our citizens, and anything we can do to alleviate that threat, helps fight drug abuse and homelessness.

I would like to find a way to help fund a new shelter for the Park Avenue Temporary Home. PATH is currently running out of a run-down 1930’s building that has been partially condemned. The current manager is doing wonders with what he has, but it can’t go on like this much longer. PATH is a clean and sober facility which houses folks down on their luck who just need a place to stay while they are getting their lives in order. A new facility would be much less depressing, expand the beds, comfortably house family units, and conveniently provide services needed to help them get on their feet and out into productive lives again. Housing is a problem, but unfortunately there is limited space available within the city limits, so the options are limited.

I was lucky enough to be a part of the selection process for the new City Manager, and I am anxious to work with her. She has an engineering degree, and a background in banking, utilities and city management, which makes her the perfect person for the job. I believe her skill with numbers can help bring us back from the terrible shortfalls the city has been experiencing since Covid hit. We need to take a serious look at the dock situation, with how much we are charging and how it is managed.

I would also like to work on making the sales tax less cumbersome and fairer. The new seasonal tax vote was the lesser of two evils, and the reporting over quarters will be a nightmare for some, especially service businesses, contractors, and landlords. I also don’t think the rent tax caps are helping those they are intended to help. The lowest wage residents pay 100% in sales tax and the ones that pay more than $1000 get a discount. That doesn’t make sense. The break should be on the bottom of the sales, not the top. I would also like to see sales tax relief on certain groceries that are considered healthy, your basic meats, breads, cereals, dairy, etc. The difficulty here is that there are not enough records kept that can help us figure out what a balance point would be.

I believe I have the level-headed common sense to make good decisions. One of my best common-sense proposals was to get motorcycle parking downtown in wasted spots that are too small for automobiles. There are now half a dozen or more spaces marked for motorcycles and ATVs so cars will have more places to park. I am enjoying my position as liaison with the Ketchikan Visitor’s Bureau, and would like to continue in that role, as your City Council member.

At your Service,

Lallette Kistler City Council

For over two decades, SitNews has provided a front page section at no cost for all candidates for the local Ketchikan Assembly, School Board, City Council, and Mayors to provide information about themselves and their campaign for the voters to consider.

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