Ketchikan gets interim mayor

Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KETCHIKAN - Lew Williams III, a longtime City Council member and co-publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, has been appointed the city's interim mayor.

Williams will finish out the term of Mayor Bob Weinstein, who resigned to take a job with Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.

According to the newspaper, six candidates filed applications for the position.

However, Williams and Council Member Marty West were the only applicants considered by the Council during Tuesday's special meeting. The vote to appoint Williams initially was 5-1 with West voting no. However, before the vote tally was declared, West changed her vote to make it unanimous.

The other applicants were Lewis Armey Jr., Devon Blunden, Charles Edwardson and José Garcia. Blunden, who lives in California, did not meet the residency requirements.

Council Member Chuck Freeman said he preferred to consider only the Council applicants, because he didn't want to spend the next two to three months getting someone up to speed, especially when the appointee would be in the job for only four months.

Williams said his priorities include giving staff clear direction about spending priorities, attending to the potential sale of the Ketchikan Public Utilities Telecommunications Division and working with the new KPU Advisory Board.

Williams will start in the mayor's job on May 28.

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