Monday was the last day for candidates to file for local office, and a flurry of last-minute filers means there will be competition for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and School Board, the Ketchikan City Council, and the Saxman City Council.
There are two three-year seats open on each the Assembly, School Board and Ketchikan City Council. Candidates for Borough Assembly are incumbents Alan Bailey and Bill Rotecki, and former Assembly Member John Harrington, who filed on the last day.
Harrington, who also has served on the School Board, is a member of the borough’s Planning Commission, but would have to give up that position if elected. He said he wanted to make sure there was competition in the face of what he predicts will be a tough budget year.
“This is the year, I think, that the budget crunch gets bloody,” he said. “We have been using reserves, having our mill rate at a fairly low level and the crunch is about to hit. So either we’re going to have to raise the mill rate or we’re going to have to cut services or we’re going to have to get creative.”
Harrington said that with a competitive race, the public will pay more attention to issues. He said that if elected, he will look closely at the budget, and would like to see evaluations of borough expenses to see what might be streamlined.
During his most recent School Board tenure, Harrington resigned from his seat without finishing his term, but said that shouldn’t affect his ability to work with the School Board when it comes time to fund the district.
“I did have some interesting relationship problems with certain members of the School Board, not obviously with all of them. But it had to do with internal School Board stuff,” he said.
Harrington said he is an advocate of school funding, and of improving the School Board-Assembly relationship.
For the School Board, high school senior Trevor Shaw was the first candidate to file, and he threw his name into the hat late last week. He was joined Monday by incumbent Dave Timmerman and newcomer Camille Booth.
Booth, who works for the Southern Southeast Technology Education Center, said she wanted to get involved when she saw how few people were signing up to run. She also has a background in education.
“I was in public education for 17 years: about eight years as a teacher in Metlakatla and eight years as principal/administrator in Craig for the Craig City School District,” she said. “Now I’m working for Ketchikan Indian Community as the SSEATEC director.”
Booth also runs Creative Resourcing, which offers tutoring for students, particularly those with reading disabilities. She said she’s especially interested in Native education, educational technology and special education.
Timmerman, port operations manager for the city Port and Harbors Department, said he wants to continue work on some of the issues he’s focused on, including the Indian Policies and Procedures committee. He went on to name a few more important issues.
“Activities is a big thing for me, (along with) the dropout rate, and all those things that we all talk about when we’re trying to work for better for the kids,” he said. “But mostly to keep an eye on the Assembly and make sure the school district is getting funded at a level that we think, or at least that I think is fair, and just keep up the fight, basically.”
For Ketchikan City Council, the two incumbents, Dick Coose and Matt Olsen, filed for re-election. They will be joined on the ballot by Judy Zenge.
The Saxman City Council has three three-year seats open, held by Joe Williams Jr., Richard Makua and Woodrow Watson.
Makua and Watson have filed for re-election, and will be joined on the ballot by Woodrow Anderson Jr. and Trudi Swink.
One two-year seat also is on the Saxman ballot, and that seat now is held by Sylvia Banie. Banie filed for re-election, and is the only candidate for that seat.
The local election is Oct. 1.