Friends it August 1st and we have two months before you make the decision on your next mayor. It looks like I’ll be running against Katie Jo Parrott, and possibly others, but we won’t know completely until the end of the month.
I’m not going to make personal attacks against anyone who may run against me, but I will point out our differences and concerns.
I’ve received a number of messages in the last two days, and many of you have asked my opinion regarding the apparent conflict of interest we would see if my opponent became mayor due to her current and past activities for the school district.
The concern is this. As a community we’ve always had three separate entities that work together regarding the primary responsibility of the Borough, which is education. The concern is in partial and equal representation. The mayor has to consider everyone in these issues, not just one entity.
For a local government to be trusted and supported there has to be checks and balance or we will find ourselves in trouble every time.
If Katie Parrot is elected you would essentially be placing the person that has been asking for district funding for years in the highest elected position in the Borough that is responsible for that funding. The conflict of interest in this case is unsurmountable and here’s why.
Katie is essentially the CEO of the school district budget and she has said many times to the Assembly that she knows the cost down to the pencils. One of the conversations I had yesterday with a citizen for why this is a concern his this saying: No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
So friends consider this scenario which plays out even if she resigns her district job to take the Mayor position. Katie knows better than anyone what can be cut at the school district, everything from supplies to positions that are not required, programs that are not necessary but are discretionary, all the contract issues, everyting.
On the Assembly we’ve asked her many times over the years for that specific information and we never get it. We only get vague statements such as most positions are required or trends are doing this or doing that. Additionally the school board has been clear in the past that is their job to work with the district on these issues.
So here’s the question: Does she tell the Assembly that information in her capacity as Mayor when the Assembly has to allocate funding and always needs to balance funding needs versus ability? If she does, doesn’t she in essence betray the district by giving insider information — information they have not volunteered to the Borough in past? And, if she doesn’t as Mayor isn’t she betraying the trust of the citizens and the Assembly charged with properly spending every tax dollar.
This is serious because no matter what she does she can never be fully committed to either side or completely trusted by either side. It’s divided loyalty. And that is why we have these checks and balances in government. She has to choose one or the other to favor.
Let’s look at this one other way. Will the district still tell her everything as business manager like they used to? Like the confidential topics? Or, just tell her not to tell the Borough? If they don’t can she perform at the same level for the district as business manager? She knows the spending required by every school and what spending is optional. What happens when the Assembly asks her that information in Chambers? Do you think she is going to tell them?
So to the people who messaged me, and wanted my opinion there it is. I think it’s divided loyalty and it’s a conflict. It’s drama that the Borough does not need. And that’s just my opinion.
Anyway, over the next two months you will see the differences between me and my opponents. I am a conservative, small government guy. I protected your rights during COVID. I prevented the mandates that we all saw in other communities. I helped bring in millions in Federal funds for our citizens and businesses. And I’ve helped save millions in Federal regulatory costs. We’ve had no tax rate increases in the general government in the six years I’ve been an elected [official]. I want to keep this community as safe and as affordable place to live as possible.
These are my own personal thoughts and I am not representing any other group or person. Have a great day Ketchikan.