I’d like to set the record straight in regard to Gov. Sean Parnell’s comments during his visit to Ketchikan a week ago.
Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst, Borough Mayor Dave Kiffer and I met with the governor during that visit. Together, we discussed capital projects and even touched on the lawsuit the borough has filed against the state.
Gov. Parnell told us he had received comments from legislators in regard to their awareness of the suit. He didn’t make or imply any threats in regard to Ketchikan’s capital project requests. In fact, the meeting was very cordial.
Parnell has worked hard for Ketchikan, and has helped in regard to our industries — tourism, shipyard and education, to name a few. I believe Ketchikan still has his support, he has mine and, I believe, our community’s.
Also, there appears to be confusion statewide about the local government structure in Ketchikan. Ketchikan has a city government, of which I am mayor, and a borough government, which has filed the lawsuit. The City of Ketchikan hasn’t joined that suit.
I also can tell you that the Ketchikan Daily News didn’t perceive Parnell’s comments in an interview at its offices as a threat, simply an obvious and honest answer to a question in relation to the suit. I doubt Alaskans would want a governor who wouldn’t be honest when answering.
I remain confident that whatever happens at the legislative level pertaining to capital project funding for Ketchikan in the next few months, both the legislators and the governor will treat my community appropriately.
Lew Williams III
Mayor, City of Ketchikan
Co-publisher, Ketchikan Daily News