Voters head to the polls for local elections across the state this Tuesday. Here’s a look at what’s on the ballot in the Ketchikan area.
City of Ketchikan
Let’s start with an easy one: Ketchikan city mayor. City Council Member Dave Kiffer is unopposed in his bid. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the longtime Ketchikan elected official will take office as the city’s chief public advocate and the chair of the City Council later this month.
[Missed a KRBD election forum? Catch up here]
Then there’s the race for two seats on Ketchikan’s City Council, the city’s legislative body. Three candidates are on the ballot: incumbent Janalee Gage, first-time candidate Lallette Kistler and jewelry store owner Jai Mahtani. A fourth candidate, Bronson Olson, is mounting a write-in campaign.
The top two vote-getters will get a three-year seat on Ketchikan’s City Council. Council Member Sam Bergeron is not seeking reelection. Only residents within Ketchikan city limits are eligible to vote in city elections.
[Candidates for Ketchikan City Council share views at Chamber forum]
Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Next, we’ll trot on over to Ketchikan’s White Cliff building for a look at some borough races, starting with Borough Assembly.
Five candidates are looking to replace outgoing incumbents Felix Wong and Sven Westergard. The candidates are tourism businesswoman Jaimie Palmer, bank executive Jason Button, health advocate Carlos Weimer, business consultant Darlene d-Svenson and nonprofit staffer Grant EchoHawk. Each is seeking a three-year term.
[Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly candidates square off in Chamber forum]
Then are three seats on Ketchikan’s school board. Vying for a three-year term are incumbent Nicole Anderson, federal program manager Tom Heutte, attorney Stephen Bradford, parent Ali Ginter and Ketchikan Indian Community staffer Keenan Sanderson. Both board President Kim Hodne and member Doug Gregg aren’t running for re-election.
[Candidates for Ketchikan’s school board discuss the issues at Chamber forum]
Also on Ketchikan voters’ ballots across the borough are two propositions. The first would extend a 5% special sales tax on marijuana approved by voters in 2017 indefinitely. The tax brings in between $75,000 and $100,000 per year, and it’s set to expire at the end of next year.
Proposition 2 would green-light $6.7 million in debt backed by borough tax revenue to add artificial turf, remodel grandstands and make a few other improvements to borough baseball and softball fields. Norman Walker Field near Schoenbar Middle School and Drency Dudley Field near Ketchikan High School would see the biggest changes.
[Bond measure to revamp Ketchikan’s ball fields poised to come before voters]
Most adults within the Ketchikan Gateway Borough — including residents of the cities of Ketchikan and Saxman — are eligible to vote for assembly, school board and the two propositions.
City of Saxman
All races in the City of Saxman are uncontested. Incumbent City Council members Billy Joe Thomas, Rick Makua and Frank Seludo, are set to begin new three-year terms.
Voters throughout Ketchikan can cast ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 5 at seven precincts throughout the borough.
[Find your polling place and read the borough’s voter information pamphlet here]
Editor’s note: Borough Assembly candidate Grant EchoHawk is also president of KRBD’s board of directors, which oversees the nonprofit organization. City Council candidate Jai Mahtani is also on KRBD’s board. They are not involved with news coverage.