The filing period to run for local office in Sitka has closed, and there will be a contest in all three areas of government: for Assembly representation, the Sitka School Board, and the Mayor.
Running for Mayor is Gary Paxton, Ben Miyasato, and Aaron Bean. Bean filed just before the deadline of 5 p.m. on Friday. And running for two open seats on the Sitka Assembly are five candidates: Sheila Finkenbinder, Kevin Mosher, Valerie Nelson, Brinnen Carter, and Blossom Twitchell.
Twitchell filed on Tuesday (08-03-18). At 36-years-old, she is a mother of three and a Mt. Edgecumbe High School Graduate. KCAW reporter Emily Kwong sat down with Twitchell in her office at Sitka Tribe of Alaska, where she is a caseworker in social services, and asked her why she’s decided to run for the Sitka Assembly.
“I have been thinking about it for a while. As a Sitkan, as a single mother, as the person who brings home provisions for my family, I have thought about the conditions that many Sitkans find ourselves in. It was when someone asked me on the street ‘you should run.’ They actually declared it, ‘You should run. And just jump right in.’ And so here I am.”
“And I think with my position and my background working with the public and also being able to do what I have done in my life as just a person trying to make it. It’s very important to me to listen to the people and to find a direct course. I am a very direct person and I think my quiet demeanor sometimes trips people up. I am quiet but I am strong and able to make decisions that are difficult. And in the position that I am in today with my job, I see how people are affected in Sitka. And that in itself is reason for me to run. I want to make sure that the city puts into place and considers how much our families work.”
“That includes also the senior sales tax. I have a 91-year-old mother who is fiercely independent. I know many of her friends who were greatly affected by this. And to see the measure go through and have that taken away was concerning because that does take away a lot of the independence that our people have. When you talk money it’s emotional and people are proud and they don’t really want to talk about it. It is difficult but again these are our elders and we need to find different ways to find that revenue. It’s hard. It’s hard statewide and it’s hard locally. It is a job. But I believe if we come together and work things out there will be other ways to find our revenue stream and give our elders that tax break.”