The first candidate to file for local elected office turned in his paperwork on Monday, which is the first day of the filing period for both the City of Ketchikan and Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
Rodney Dial, a retired Alaska State Trooper, says he wants to help the community get through the State of Alaska’s fiscal challenges without adding more financial burdens to those who live here.
“This October, the citizens of this state are going to take the largest tax increase in their history when they lose part of their Permanent Fund Dividend,” he said. “My goal is to get into the Borough Assembly and help maintain spending and find new efficiencies so we’re not essentially kicking the taxpayer while they’re down.”
Dial says that, if elected, he would go through all the borough department budgets and make lists identifying services that the borough is required to provide, and then all the other stuff.
“Because my experience with government is that we do a lot of things as a community or as a governmental entity that we think we have to do, and we don’t really have to do,” he said. “So, by looking for efficiencies in local government we can, at the very minimum, maintain the tax rate. And if we’re fortunate, we can look for those savings and try to bring down our local cost of living, which is extremely high.”
Dial says that on the state level, for example, government has spent money on bottled water for employees, or picnics. A local-level example is the party that Ketchikan’s city and borough governments have funded in Juneau during the community legislative lobbying trip.
Dial was born and raised in Alaska. He says the only time he lived Outside was when he attended college and served in the military. He started working for Alaska State Troopers in 1989, and retired in July of 2015. He now works at Alaska Ink, a tattoo shop owned by his daughter.
Two seats are open on the Borough Assembly. They are currently held by Alan Bailey and Bill Rotecki. Neither can run for re-election because of term limits.