Frederick Olsen Jr. is among eight candidates running for one of two open Sitka Assembly seats. Sitka’s municipal election is Tuesday, October 6.

October 6th, please vote for me to one of two open seats on the Sitka Assembly. The role of an Assembly member is to work with the City Administrator and the Mayor. Together, we must support Sitka’s families. Schools play a key part of a sustainable future for our community, which includes full funding for the schools. I have worked with $100 million budgets while on the SEARHC Board of Directors and have made tough choices in hard times

We need to keep our focus through the pandemic. Now more than ever, we must do what we can to make Sitka more affordable for residents. We need more affordable housing and lower utility rates. Right now, the City loses money collecting garbage. We need to look at that and many more areas of the Budget. At this time, we don’t need Party Politics interfering with Strategic Planning. Now more than ever, we need Long Range Thinking.

I was elected SEARHC Board Chair in the middle of financial struggles. Together, the Board made tough decisions which led to later growth. We instigated a multi-year Strategic Planning process that has continued to the present. SEARHC has thrived to the point of the recently announced $300 million expansion of Mount Edgecumbe Hospital and a multi-year joint venture for full staffing which will bring hundreds of jobs to Sitka in the next few years.

We need jobs that pay living wages. We need lower living costs. I support commercial fishermen by continuing to plan a boat haulout, support Crew Apprentice programs, and look for ways to encourage local business. I support looking at the many options for creating affordable housing units. We can look at ways to give tax breaks to families as well as elders and local businesses where we can.

We can pursue other sources of revenue by enhancing the City government relationship with the Sitka Tribe. We can collaborate on programs at earlier stages of development and see where our programs overlap. By working together, we will enhance public services in a fiscally responsible manner.

When I grew up in Southeast, we saw how success was usually attained somewhere else. Often students still go off to college, do well, get a great job somewhere, and only come back to Alaska for vacation or holidays. I’d like to see us do what we can to change that scenario. We need our next generations to know that success can be right here in Sitka.

Updated 9-25-20, 5:38 PM

Read KCAW’s initial interview with Olsen here