The Ketchikan City Council chose Mark Flora to fill a Council seat left vacant when KJ Harris resigned in September due to health concerns.
During a special meeting Monday, the Council interviewed four of the five applicants for that seat. The other candidates were Mike Carney, the borough’s airport manager; Spencer Strassburg, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council; George Tipton, a previous Borough Assembly member; and Carlos Weimer, who served on a charter school governing board and other non-profit work.
Tipton was out of town Monday, so wasn’t interviewed during the meeting. City Mayor Lew Williams III says Tipton talked to individual Council members earlier.
Flora runs All American Auto Repair. He told the Council that he applied for the position because he hopes to help the community he’s lived in for 32 years.
Flora said one of his strengths is the ability to listen, and separate emotion from facts.
“I can go into situations open minded, I’m not going in predisposed, or if I am, I will try my best to keep an open mind, listen to all the facts, all sides, and try to make a rational decision from that point,” he said.
Flora told the Council that he’s also willing to admit it if he makes a mistake, and then fix it and move on.
After brief interviews with each of the candidates present on Monday, Council members filled out secret ballots. Flora received four votes, which is the minimum needed to approve a motion.
Then the Council voted openly on appointing Flora, and the motion passed 5-0. He was sworn in immediately, and took a seat at the Council table. He will remain on the Council until next fall, when the seat will be up for election.
Flora’s first full meeting as a Council member will be in just a few days. The Council’s regular meeting last week was rescheduled to Thursday due to lack of a quorum.