Ketchikan residents Amanda Mitchell and KJ Harris have filed to run for Ketchikan City Council. Mitchell has not run for public office before. Harris is a current City Council member whose seat is opening this term, and he is seeking re-election.
Mitchell says her active role in the local group United Citizens for Better Water led to her decision to run for public office.
“After doing the water issue and working with a lot of people, I was asked by a lot of people to run for City Council,” Mitchell said. “There’s a lot of people who felt like they weren’t listened to. Some people felt hopeless. They were just looking for somebody to step up, and that’s why I’m running.”
The United Citizens for Better Water group opposes the city’s decision to add chloramine to disinfect Ketchikan’s water supply. They spoke against chloramination at City Council meetings and turned in an anti-chloramine ballot proposition that the city denied on legal grounds.
Mitchell said her decision to run is not just because of the chloramine issue. She said she also wants to see more fiscal responsibility.
KJ Harris is in his third City Council term. He says he has lived in Ketchikan for more than 30 years.
“I think our city is in pretty darn good shape,” Harris said. “When I started out [on City Council] I wanted to change everything. I’ve discovered the city is like a big old machine that moves so fast you can only do so much.”
Harris said one issue he’d like to see the city take more action on is fixing old water and sewer infrastructure.
Three three-year Council seats are available in the Oct. 7 municipal election. The other two seats opening are currently held by Marty West and Dick Coose. West has announced she will not seek re-election. The filing period opened last Friday and ends Aug. 25 at 5 p.m.