Commentary

STA candidate statement: Michael Baines

Hello, my name is Michael Baines. I am running for election to the office of Tribal Chairman on the Sitka Tribal Council. I’d like to ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 13. I would also like to thank current chairman Lawrence “Woody” Widmark for twenty-four years of service to the Tribe.

I am the son of Velma and Conrad Baines, Sr. My parents taught me the value of a good education. After attending Sitka schools, I attended and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Mathematics and Applied Science. I was involved in counseling and education for almost twenty years after I graduated from UCLA.


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I served on the Tribal Council for seven years. I always valued the importance of a strong Tribe that serves all of its Tribal Citizens. I was on several committees throughout my time on the council, and I fought hard for traditional rights such as the harvest of herring eggs. I will continue to do that as your Tribal Chairman.

I also think the Tribal Council needs to be strong and assertive and should strive for a strong team of employees as well as the employees rights. Employees should be very excited to be employed at the Tribe, and I will fight for a good workplace for employees where everyone is proud to serve the Tribal Citizens and happy to go to work every day.
I also will fight for a strong and productive economic development operation. STA needs to increase its income through economic development, and we should take advantage of the vast natural resources in the vicinity of Sitka. We should also partner with other organizations whenever possible to do this. The potential partnerships are numerous: US Forest Service, Sealaska, Shee Atika, T&H, SEDA, and many other organizations and corporations throughout Southeast Alaska.

In addition to economic development, the Sitka Tribe needs to continue or renew partnerships with the organizations in Sitka that we have developed over the years. STA has been widely recognized for its strong relationships with other groups and organizations such as the City and Borough of Sitka, the Sitka Police Department, the US Forest Service, the courts, and many others. STA should renew these partnerships to help improve services to Tribal Citizens, and I would be very proactive in renewing these ties and forming new ones when and where we can.

Most importantly, as the Tribal Chairman, I would try to steer the Tribal Council in a direction that best serves the needs of all Tribal Citizens and the community. I have seven years of experience on the council and ran many council meetings during three years as the Tribal Vice-Chairman, and I believe I can do that with your help. Please vote for me, Michael Baines, for Tribal Chairman on Tuesday, November 13. I encourage all Tribal Citizens with questions, comments, or concerns to call me at 738-3729 or send me an email.

Candidate statements are a listener service of Raven Radio. All candidates have been given the opportunity to publish a statement.

Thank you.

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