The number of candidates running for the Sitka Assembly equals the number of seats on the Sitka Assembly: seven. They represent a diverse cross section of political views and visions and gathered for Raven Radio’s live forum on Tuesday night (09-22-17) to take questions from voters.
Elections are Tuesday, October 3rd. There are three open seats at the Assembly table, one held by an incumbent — Steven Eisenbeisz.
Seated before an audience of 50 people at Harrigan Centennial Hall, Benjamen Miyasato, Jaime Ackley, Kitty Sopow, Richard Wein, Sheila Finkenbinder, Sonya Smith and Steven Eisenbeisz shared their varying platforms and personalities. They weighed on the city’s most topical issues – most notably the future of Sitka Community Hospital – and mainstay issues, such as affordable housing, capital funding, and support for the Sitka School District. Hosted by KCAW’s Emily Kwong.
Listen: Full Assembly Forum Part 1 (59 minutes) and Part 2 (67 minutes)
Don’t have time to listen to the whole forum? You can review the candidate’s answers to each of the questions below.
KCAW’s Emily Kwong introduces the forum
Question 1: Who are you and why are you running for the Assembly? (A two-minute opening statement)
Question 2: What is your vision for Sitka Community Hospital and please address who obstetrics and surgery figures into that vision? For Dr. Richard Wein, will you recuse yourself from Assembly votes on the hospital given that you worked there?
Question 3: Would you support raising the legal age for tobacco sales to 21?
Question 4: What level of funding would you provide to the Sitka School District? Do you support funding to the cap?
Question 5: What is your plan for funding city government and future capital costs for the city, school district, and hospital?
Question 6: Would you support legislation that would reduce plastic bag use in Sitka?
Question 7: Would you support taking action on climate change and why?
Question 8: What can be done to address Sitka’s affordable housing crisis? And should codes be changed to make tiny homes legal in Sitka?
Question 9: About a third of the community is Alaska Native. What do you believe are the top three issues facing Alaska Natives in Sitka?