Five-o-clock Thursday was the deadline for local candidates to file for city and borough office.
Five candidates waited for the last day to turn in their paperwork. Among them was Spencer Strassburg, who threw his name in for one of two open seats on the Ketchikan City Council.
“I think I need to get better at getting polished and saying the things that I want to get across,” he said. “I think I need to express my viewpoints a little smoother and quicker and to the point. I’m going to work on that this year.”
Strassburg said he would bring real-world business experience to the Council. He owns three local businesses: Southeast Fence Specialists, The Fox Hole and Alaska Pipeline.
The two open seats on the Council are now held by Judy Zenge and Julie Isom. Both have filed for re-election.
Until Thursday, nobody had filed for the two open seats on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board, but on the last day, incumbent Trevor Shaw filed for re-election, and will be joined on the ballot by Conan Steele and Kim Hodne.
Hodne ran unsuccessfully for Borough Assembly last year. Due to a tight deadline, we weren’t able to reach him or Shaw in time for this report.
Steele served a partial term on the School Board, filling in for a member who resigned. He then ran unsuccessfully last year to retain his seat. He says he finds the School Board’s work interesting, and would bring valuable education experience.
“I taught out in a community called St. Paul between 2012 and 2014,” he said. “It’s in the Pribilof Islands about 1,500 northwest of here as the crow flies. It’s primarily Aleut, very small community, about 300 people. It was one of the most interesting experiences of my life, teaching in another culture.”
David Timmerman holds that second School Board seat, but is not seeking re-election. He instead filed on Thursday to run for one of two seats open on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly.
Timmerman said he’s accomplished much of what he wanted on the School Board, and now he wants to try working for the borough as a whole, rather than just the school district.
Timmerman, who is the port operations manager for the City of Ketchikan, said he’s particularly interested in who the Borough Assembly chooses as the new manager after Dan Bockhorst leaves at the end of this year.
“I think it’s time to get someone who is more cooperative with government entities around town and the state, instead of the ‘If I don’t get my way I’m taking my toys and going home’ type of thing,” he said.
Judith McQuerry also filed for one of the Borough Assembly seats. She said you can only complain so long before you need to step up and do something about it.
McQuerry, who was the City of Ketchikan Library Director for many years before retiring, said library funding is one issue she’s interested in. But, she said, she would focus on establishing a more positive relationship between the borough and city residents.
“A couple of people that I approached to sign my petition to run for Borough Assembly said, ‘Oh, I don’t live in the borough, I live in the city.’ It was like, ‘Wait a minute; yes you do. We’re all borough residents,’” she said. “But I think there are people in the city that feel alienated from the borough. They don’t think the borough represents them. And that’s no OK.”
Also running for Assembly are Rodney Dial, Keith Smith and Sue Pickrell. The two open seats are currently held by Bill Rotecki and Alan Bailey, but they can’t run for re-election because of term limits.
The last position open this year is Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor. Incumbent David Landis filed for re-election earlier this month, and has no challengers.
The local election is Oct. 4.