Local News

It’s a race! Olsen files for Ketchikan City Council

Incumbent Ketchikan City Council Member Matt Olsen filed for re-election Wednesday afternoon, which means there will be actual competition for the City of Ketchikan’s elected body.

There are two three-year seats open on the City Council. Olsen joins incumbent Dick Coose, who filed on Aug. 1, and Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce President Judy Zenge, who filed last week.

Olsen has been on the Council about four years. He initially was appointed to a vacant seat, then was elected to complete that term. Following that one-year stint, he ran for re-election and now is completing his first full three-year term on the Ketchikan City Council.

Olsen, an elementary school teacher, says he wants to remain on the Council because he enjoys the work.

“I’ve said it in the past, it’s kind of a selfish reason,” he said. “It helps me feel much more connected to the community that I grew up in and that I’ve lived in most of my life. I enjoy listening to folks, listening to all the options and helping with the future of the community that I grew up in and that my children are going to grow up in.”

Olsen mentioned ongoing plans to renovate Ketchikan Medical Center as one of the top projects that the City Council will have to deal with in the next few years, along with other infrastructure needs. The completed fire station and library projects are two Council accomplishments he says he’s proud of.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and School Board also each have two three-year terms open for the Oct. 1 election. On the Assembly, those seats are held by Alan Bailey and Bill Rotecki, and both have filed for re-election. So far, there is no competition for the Assembly seats.

As of deadline Thursday, nobody has filed for the two open School Board seats, which are now held by Ginny Clay and Dave Timmerman. Clay has announced she will not seek re-election.

The Saxman City Council has three three-year seats open, held by Joe Williams Jr., Richard Makua and Woodrow Watson. One two-year seat also is on the Saxman ballot, held by Sylvia Banie.

The deadline for candidates to file for local office is noon on Monday.

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