Richard Wein is one of seven candidates running for three open seats on the Assembly. The municipal election is Tuesday, October 3rd. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

Richard Wein is one of seven candidates running for three open seats on the Assembly. The municipal election is Tuesday, October 3rd.

Downloadable audio.

My name is Richard Wein, but call me Richard.

Some years ago, about 17 to be precise, I took off “to see the watery part of the world” — driving across this great country of ours that three weeks earlier was galvanized by the fiery destruction of the World Trade Center.

I left New Jersey after 20 years of private practice with one idea of what the future would hold, and I arrived in Sitka completely transformed—grateful to be invited into this community.

I am a surgeon by trade—board certified and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. I have held multiple positions of responsibility during my career from Chief of Staff for 525 physicians to multiple Board of Trustee memberships. I provided surgical care for almost ten years at SEARHC and more than six years at Sitka Community Hospital.

I have served our community and Southeast faithfully and I hope well—literally 7/24 and as the sole provider.

I earned my Bachelors and Masters degrees from Columbia University in New York. My Masters degree was in journalism. I was awarded a doctorate of medicine from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Maybe it is never an easy time to run for Sitka Assembly, but now, today, with the financial storms brewing at all economic levels—federal, state, and within our own city, it is time to change the conversation.

To put it simply, I will fully engage in the Assembly process. I will try to improve how the Assembly conducts its business (in a good way) and how the Assembly presents information to the public (in a better way.) We must not forget that we are a small town and that public input is vital.

Sitka is becoming ever more dependent on taxation to support its functioning as state and federal cutbacks occur. I will review the expense and revenue aspects of all city functions to establish a financial baseline.

We cannot ask our friends and neighbors to bear the burden of the ever increasing costs of living in Sitka without first making sure our city is run in the most efficient way possible. We must distinguish between wants and needs.

With an understanding of the city fundamentals—what we can do, what we cannot do, and what we must do—our city’s future course will become more easily understood.

Issues that require review abound in Sitka, whether it concerns solid waste disposal or solving the Sitka Community Hospital/SEARHC issue. There are housing challenges, educational considerations, the possibility of a new police department building, and growing Sitka in appropriate and smart ways just to mention a few.

For the last 17 years, Sitka has been my cherished home. It is my intention to live the rest of my life here with my ashes spread into the ocean from high atop Tanya rock.

The municipal election is Tuesday, October 3rd. Both precincts will vote at Harrigan Centennial Hall.  Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Absentee and advanced voting is available weekdays from 9am to 5pm at City Hall (3rd floor) through October 2nd. Absentee voting by mail is available through September 26.