With only three days left to file, just a few Sitkans so far have stepped up to run for seats on the assembly and school board. Monday (7/29/19), Loyd Platson became the third Sitkan to file to run for the Sitka Assembly this fall.
“In every community that I lived in, I’ve always wanted to find a way that I can contribute to help make the community better,” says Platson, who is the prevention director at Sitka Counseling.
Platson lived in Sitka for a few years in the 1980s, and moved back in 2015.
“Having lived here for a few years, and seeing some of the dynamics that have gone on, I think there are some issues within the community that need to be addressed,” he says. “I think I can help with that. One of the big issues we have here is substance misuse. That’s my background, I’ve been in prevention for a little over 45 years.”
Platson also directs the Hope Coalition, a group of organizations in Sitka that addresses drug abuse in Sitka. He’s led a few commissions too, so he’s interacted with the assembly from the floor, so to speak.
“Being on the assembly is a tough job, I think,” he says. “But I think there’s ways to kind of minimize the friction that occurs between the assembly and the community members.”
If elected, Platson says he would try to foster more transparent communication with Sitkans.
“I know there are some things that you can’t share because of confidentiality,” he says. “I think the more information people have in the community, the more they would understand the decisions that are made, and maybe some of that animosity or frustration that occurs wouldn’t be there because of that.”
Platson says he’s focused on substance abuse issues, affordability, the cost of electric rates, and fostering a good relationship with the Tlingit community. And he thinks the assembly should prioritize what he calls “maintainability.”
In other words, “how do we maintain services at an adequate level?,” he asks. “How do we maintain the quality of life in our community. I think sometimes people say, ‘We’ve always got to be progressing, we’ve got to be bringing in more money,’ and things like that.”
“I think the reality is, how do we live within our means? How do we maintain what we have and improve on that a little bit so that all of us benefit from that.”
The filing period to run as a candidate in the 2019 municipal election closes Friday, August 2 at 5 p.m.
KCAW will provide continuous coverage of the 2019 municipal election, and will host several candidate forums, leading up to the election on October 1.