A Ketchikan resident running for public office is banned from a public facility following an incident in July.
Kevin Staples is running for City Council. According to documents from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Staples was banned from the Gateway Recreation Center for three months because of a note he left on a car parked there.
A report filed by rec center director Wendy Miller on July 16th says a customer found a note on the windshield of their car and apparently reported it to rec center staff. The staff reviewed tapes and saw Staples drop his child off at the center and then drive to a parked vehicle and place a note on it.
The note said: “Nice parking, [expletive.] Please don’t reproduce, your [sic] are too stupid to stick it in correctly.”
Miller reported the incident to the police and wrote a notice of restriction for Staples. The notice says Staples harassed a customer by leaving a “derogatory, hateful” note that contained profanity.
Miller restricted Staples from the rec center and its surrounding property for three months, until mid-October.
She noted that Staples is allowed to drop off and pick up his child in the parking lot if he writes an apology letter. Staples wrote the apology letter. It says:
“I do not know how to start what I need to say today. First of all, please let me apologize for my insensitive and immature note I placed on your van yesterday morning. My frustration with the way I have viewed some vehicles parked, led me to write the note today. I cannot, in a million years, express how sorry I am for what I wrote.
“There is no excuse for what I did or how I may have insulted you and your family. I did not realize there was a sign on your vehicle, but rather placed the note and left. Had I paid more attention, I would have realized the stupidity of my comment and realized the need for you to have extra space to help your sister use the Recreation Center.
“I understand how angry you are, but please know I wish I could take back my actions. I am completely humiliated by what I have done. I am so very sorry.”
The documents from the Borough do not specify how the vehicle was parked or why it needed extra space.
Included in the documents is an email Wendy Miller sent to Ketchikan police sergeant Eric Mattson with the apology letter from Staples attached. Miller says in the email that if Staples writes more notes on vehicles, he will be charged with trespassing.
KRBD asked Miller if she wanted to comment on the incident. She declined.
Staples is one of six candidates running for three open City Council seats. The election is October 7th.
UPDATE: Staples told KRBD in an email that he regrets acting out of anger. He said he takes full responsibility for his actions and agrees that the punishment from the rec center was fair and justified.
In response to how his restriction from a public facility might affect his bid for City Council, Staples said:
“I believe that the citizens of Ketchikan do not need elected officials who are without fault, but ones who are accountable for their actions and mistakes. I often feel that our current elected officials make poor decisions and then stand by them, regardless of how the public feels.
“I am passionate about my values (perhaps sometimes overly so), but am also willing to hear the other side. In this case, the other side was something I hadn’t considered. Similar situations will arise on city council, I’m sure. I want people to know I will stop to consider the other side, and take accountability should I be in the wrong.”
Editor’s note: Some readers have questioned KRBD’s source for this article. We received a news tip, and we followed up with borough officials. The documents are part of the public record, and were provided when we asked for them.