SitNews – Lallette Kistler running for Ketchikan City Council
Ketchikan Regular Election Oct. 04, 2022
Early and in-person absentee voting begins 9/19/22
Ketchikan City Council
3 year term (2 open seats)
Received: September 06, 2022
Posted: September 07, 2022
Hello Sitnews people!
I was named to City Council last November to fill the spot vacated by Mayor Kiffer and I feel like I barely got my feet wet. I was less than forty votes short of winning a place in the electoral process last year, which is pretty good since I was running against an incumbent and a candidate for the second time. I hope I can do better this time.
After 40 years in Ketchikan of diligently reading the newspaper, I thought I knew what being a city councilor would entail, but now I know there’s a lot more to it than I thought. With all the infrastructure and public services to manage, as well as the social problems and economic development to solve, there is a lot to learn, and I don’t want to waste what I have learned. I listen with an open mind, am honest all the way, and don’t get offended easily, which I think is important.
Not only do I have the experience of having served on the board for the past year, but I also have experience of a myriad of different professions and activities within Ketchikan, which helps me to understand and build relationships with residents who come before council. That doesn’t mean I’m one of those people who jumps from job to job. No, I just like doing lots of different things at once. I did a bit of waitressing when I first came to town, then moved to Tatsuda where I moved from checking to the meat department, then to storage, and finally to opening and deli management. I was also a radio personality on Tatsuda’s Birthday Book and Shop Steward Syndicate.
After 7.5 years at Tatsuda, I spent 29 years at State Farm where I was the office manager and learned all facets of the business. I was highly respected for my knowledge throughout the state. I love to learn and was not only proficient in insurance sales and service but also in banking including mortgages, mutual funds and pensions earning a securities license with the SEC. Those years in the insurance industry taught me to listen and deal with disgruntled customers, just as I now often deal with disgruntled residents. Everyone wants to be heard and deserves to be heard.
With my secure day job at State Farm, I was able to use my college education in music and theater to start my music lessons business. Music is now my main occupation and I may never retire. Another side job for 35 years was accounting for our construction company. We closed our business when my husband retired, but I got jobs as a church accountant and a contractor a few years ago.
I have been heavily involved with the First City Players over the years and served as committee chair of the Performing Arts Center where I successfully brought two groups to the table so that we could raise funds for the Assembly and Council to purchase the building. FCP currently resides. My efforts as owner/performer of the “Ketchikan Frontier Revue” have also given me valuable insight into the visitor industry.
I recently became the director of the Ketchikan Community Chorus, and I love encouraging singers of all levels to participate, because I know how important music can be to a person’s well-being. Ketchikan is blessed with a thriving artistic community, and I think it’s very important to support it. Not everyone is an athlete, and everyone needs something to feel useful. Depression is a very real threat to many of our fellow citizens, and anything we can do to lessen that threat helps fight addiction and homelessness.
I would like to find a way to help fund a new shelter for the temporary home on Park Avenue. PATH is currently short of a dilapidated 1930s building that has been partially condemned. The current manager is doing wonders with what he has, but it can’t last much longer. PATH is a clean, sober facility that houses unlucky people who just need a place to stay while they get their lives in order. A new facility would be far less depressing, expand beds, comfortably house family units, and conveniently provide the services needed to help them get back on their feet and return to productive lives. Accommodation is an issue, but unfortunately there is little space available within the city limits, so options are limited.
I had the chance to participate in the selection process for the new City Manager and look forward to working with her. She has an engineering degree and a background in banking, public services and municipal management, which makes her the ideal person for this position. I believe his skill with numbers can help us out of the terrible gaps the city has been in since Covid hit. We need to take a serious look at the dock situation, with how much we charge and how it is handled.
I would also like to work on making the sales tax less burdensome and fairer. The new seasonal tax vote was the lesser of two evils, and quarterly reporting will be a nightmare for some, especially service businesses, contractors, and homeowners. I also don’t think rent tax caps help those they’re supposed to help. Residents with the lowest salaries pay 100% sales tax, and those paying more than $1,000 get a discount. It does not mean anything. The break should be on the bottom of the sales, not the top. I would also like to see sales tax relief on certain groceries considered healthy, your staple meats, breads, cereals, dairy, etc. The problem here is that there are not enough records kept to help us determine what point would be.
I believe I have the common sense to make good decisions. One of my best common-sense proposals was to install motorcycle parking lots downtown in remote locations that are too small for automobiles. There are now half a dozen or more marked spaces for motorbikes and ATVs so cars have more room to park. I enjoy my liaison position with the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau and would like to continue in this role as a member of your City Council.
At your service,
Town hall of Lalette Kistler
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