Thor Christianson is one of five candidates running for a seat on the Sitka Assembly. The municipal election is Tuesday, October 1.
Hello, my name is Thor Christianson and I am running for Assembly. I was born and raised here in Sitka, and am proud to be raising my two daughters here. I have served three terms on the Assembly in the past, from 1998 to 2004, and from 2010 to 2013.
Our community faces a number of challenges right now, and it is important that our Assembly addresses them in a calm, well thought out manner.
Of all the issues concerning Sitka right now, the State budget is the largest. The state is failing to honor its commitment to fund 70% of the school bonds, funding only 35% now. This is on top of the threats to school funding and other cuts to state agencies and services. This could be devastating to Sitka’s economy. I don’t believe the situation at the state level will last forever, but in the meantime, Sitka is going to have to make some changes.
We will have to have our priorities set, so that when hard choices have to be made, we can look at our priority list to help with our decisions. We will have to consider both limiting services, and generating revenue. I see the city’s main responsibilities to be education and public safety. I realize that others on the Assembly may have different priorities, and that is where the work of respectful, transparent collaboration comes in. I believe that if the Assembly works in partnership with interested members of the public we can weather any storm.
I believe that it very important for the Assembly to treat the city staff with respect. Our city employees work hard, and are Sitkans themselves. We need to make the city of Sitka the kind of place people will WANT to work. If I am elected I will endeavor to make the city of Sitka a place people are proud say they work.
Sitka has one of the most diverse economies in SE Alaska. The Assembly should do everything its power to support a strong city economy. As part of your Assembly I will look for ways to help all businesses in Sitka from non-profits to health care to tourism companies. That may mean removing bureaucratic barriers, or it may mean actively helping a company. Local companies should know that when they go to the city they will hear “How can we help?”
As in other SE Alaskan towns, Sitkans are concerned with challenges in Health care, transportation, addiction and housing. I don’t claim to have quick fixes or easy answers, but I believe my experiences can help as the Assembly navigates these troubles. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work to help Sitka remain an incredible place to live. Thank you for considering me to serve as one of your Assembly members.