Commentary

Westover: Service has given a broader appreciation for issues

Candidate statements are a listener service of Raven Radio. They are not an endorsement, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of the Raven Radio Foundation, its staff or its board of directors. The same invitation to make a statement has been provided to all candidates.

Listen to iFriendly audio.

Cheryl Westover (Photo: City of Sitka)

Hello, Sitka. This is Mayor Cheryl Westover asking for your vote on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

I am a lifelong Sitkan who attended kindergarten through 12th grade in the Sitka School District. I graduated from college with a degree in criminal justice, worked for my family’s grocery business for 40 years before retiring this March, volunteered as a softball coach for almost 20 years and was part of the committee that founded Sitkans Against Family Violence.

Six years ago, I ran for Assembly and was elected. My platform then was to be a fiscal conservative using a common sense approach. I haven’t changed my philosophy. I still don’t like spending other people’s money and, when I do, I want it to make sense in an everyday application. Four years as an Assembly member and two years as mayor have given me a broader and more knowledgeable appreciation for the issues.

Six years ago, I also had no idea how truly challenging it would be to represent the good people of Sitka. Making life-changing decisions financially, socially and politically for our community is a tough balancing act. Today, we find ourselves on the brink of some major decisions. The Blue Lake dam expansion construction bid came in millions of dollars over projection; much of our city infrastructure is in urgent need of replacement or repair; cruise ship passenger numbers are down; many of our fishermen and other individuals and businesses are struggling; and federal dollars are all but gone while state funding for municipalities is being reduced as a result of dwindling oil revenues.

Here’s the good news: The administrator and our city staff must, by charter, give the Assembly a balanced budget every year. Fortunately, we have a healthy cash reserve and a permanent fund that contributes to the general fund each budget cycle. In spite of this, however, we are still short the funds required to take care of crucial city needs and infrastructure.

At this pivotal juncture, I am poised to meet the challenges ahead. While serving our community as mayor, I have had the opportunity to meet and forge effective working relationships with our congressional and state delegations, and other partners important to our success. If re-elected, I will continue doing my best for our community.

With your support, I look forward to serving you as mayor for two more years. Remember to vote on Tuesday, Oct. 2, or vote absentee. Thank you.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

All-night walk raises money for cancer research

Relay
Sitkans are invited to participate in Relay for Life, a world-wide event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The time to register your team is now. Downloadable audio. more

Sitka lab issues shellfish advisory across Southeast

The STA Environmental Research Lab believes that the toxins detected in butter clams at Starrigavan this week may be residual from last summer. A new bloom of alexandrium, which produces the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxin, was recently observed in the area. (Flickr photo/Walter Lin)
Shellfish in Southeast are showing a high risk for biotoxins, specifically those that cause PSP. On Monday (5-25-16), the Sitka Tribe of Alaska's Environmental Research Lab (STAERL) found elevated levels of toxins at beaches in Sitka, Petersburg, Klawock, and Craig. more