On Wednesday, the Skagway Assembly heard from four residents interested in filling an open assembly seat. The group is set to vote on its newest member at a regular meeting Thursday. Here’s some of what those candidates had to say.
Five residents have shown interest in one assembly seat.
The position opened up last month, when former assembly member Angela Grieser resigned.
On Wednesday, the assembly interviewed the four residents present at the meeting.
Candace Cahill went first. She is a former EMT who participates in several community organizations. At the meeting, Cahill described herself as fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. She said one big project she wants to see go forward is the solid waste, recycling, and public works facility.
Here’s what she said when confronted with the issue of Skagway keeping up with the cruise ship industry, to accommodate larger ships.
“We area a cruise ship destination,” said Cahill. “We have to find a way to accommodate the breakaway class. The issues that come to mind foremost for me are housing. Because as soon as we go with more people, now we have to have more support systems in place and that means we need more housing.”
Monica Carlson also described herself as fiscally conservative. Carlson is operating manager at Skagway Streetcar Company and previously served on the city council.
She said she’d like to give residents a better understanding of where the municipality’s money, and their tax dollars, go.
“If you could break it down so they know how much you’re subsidizing the school or what percentage you are subsidizing the school or the rec center or the library,” said Carlson. “Give them a better idea of what they can afford. I don’t think the people in this community have any idea what it costs.”
Karl Klupar spoke next. He’s a longtime resident and owner of the Historic Skagway Inn. He said it’s vital for the municipality to figure out how to deal with larger cruise ships. He supported a partnership between the municipality and White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.
Klupar also talked about being careful with the city’s budget. He said the assembly should look closely at the value of projects before going forward with them.
“If it’s a project that’s not going to add value then save that for when you have more money,” said Klupar. “If it’s something that’s going to clearly make the place more valuable, make more people want to stay and live here, then that’s something you should think about investing in.”
Finally, the assembly interviewed Dominic Rotier. At 19, Rotier is the youngest of the applicants. He said it’s important to him that, despite his age, he is able to have a voice in the community.
“I’m here right now, I’m applying to be on the assembly,” said Rotier. “That’s a statement. I’m not out there going crazy. I’m here because I want to make a difference in this town. This town showed me that my voice can be heard and that I have the opportunity. That if I just so much as open my mouth, I can make things happen. And that’s pretty incredible.”
Rotier also said he supports a partnership with Whitepass. He said one issue he wasn’t asked about that he thinks is important is improving safety on city streets.
One more resident who submitted a letter of interest was not present at the meeting. Nathan Helmer is a 21-year-old telecom technician.
The assembly is set to make a decision about the appointment at their regular meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in Assembly Chambers.