Local News

Five file for local office

Several candidates filed this week to run for City Council and mayor, and two filed to run for School Board.

DeAnn Karlson, who was appointed in November to an empty Ketchikan City Council seat, has filed for one of the Council’s two open three-year terms. She will be on the ballot with incumbent Council Member Bob Sivertsen, who filed for re-election on Aug. 8.

Karlson, who owns Diversified Investments, said she applied for the appointed seat last year because there were issues before the Council that she wanted to help direct.

“So after I was appointed and given that opportunity, I really felt even stronger that I should follow through with that and actually run for the seat now that it’s going to be open this fall,” she said.

Karlson said she’s concerned about the lack of sustainable jobs in Ketchikan that would help young people return and raise families here. She mentioned mining and energy among her interests and concerns.

City Mayor Lew Williams III filed for re-election on Friday. He will face Lewis Armey Jr., who filed Thursday and has run previous unsuccessful campaigns for city and borough mayor.

Williams said he’d like one more three-year term as mayor, and then he’ll step aside. There are a few projects he said he’d like to see completed before the end of another term.

“In three years, I have  a couple projects I’d like to make sure are completed, and then I’m off and somebody else is going to have to go from there,” he said. “I’ll finish up the hospital, which is the biggest project, one of our biggest economic development items in the city.”

Williams said the hospital is the city’s largest private employer, and improvements are needed on the hospital building, which is owned by the city. PeaceHealth operates the hospital.

Other issues he said are important involve infrastructure improvements, including streets, water and sewer pipes, and bridges.

Williams, who is co-publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, said he has served one full term and one partial term as mayor. Before that he was a longtime City Council member. Williams first was elected to the Council in 1987.

Armey, who is on disability due to an accident many years ago, said he wants to help the people.

“There’s a lot of, I call them social inequities, that the organizations , they put out the pretense that they’re trying to help the common everyday people, but they turn around and help the businesses, and that does nothing for the people,” he said. “It’s the government of the people, for the people, by the people. Not of the business for the business by the politician. That ain’t the way it works.”

Armey said he believes that speed limits and crosswalk rules are ignored, and he would like to implement camera-radar technology to enforce those laws. He said he’d also like to repeal city taxes on rent and food.

On Friday, incumbent School Board Member Michelle O’Brien and Colleen Scanlon both filed for School Board. There are three open three-year seats on the Board, and one two-year term. O’Brien is running for the two-year seat, and Scanlon filed for one of the three-year seats.

O’Brien, who is a marketing manager with Ketchikan Public Utilities Telecommunications Division, is finishing her first three-year term on the School Board.

“I decided to run for re-election because I found it immensely satisfying serving on the board and looking forward, I think that our district certainly is doing a good job but could always use improvement,” she said. “I have a vested interest in seeing our students succeed, each and every one of them.”

O’Brien said she doesn’t have any specific issue that she wants to focus on.

“If you think about the school system and our district and the complexity of everything that happens within the district, and I’ve learned this over the course of the last three years, you really can’t have just one agenda and be successful,” she said. “To me it’s about making our students succeed, because our students spell the future of our community.”

Scanlon filed at deadline Friday and was not able to be reached for comment.

Jim Van Horn so far is the only candidate for two open three-year seats on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly. He filed on Aug. 1.

The deadline to file for local office is Aug. 27. Contact the city or borough clerk for more information.

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