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Small Alaska communities are the state's backbone. Economically, if they're strong, then so, too, is Alaska.

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Robert ‘Rod’ Orwin Davidson, 68, died Oct. 21, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington
Mary C. Smith, 93, died Oct. 19, 2014, in Ketchikan.
9/30/2013
Do your part

This is the week the power of each ballot will combine at the polls to determine who will serve Ketchikan and Saxman and what those elected will do.

Ketchikan's elections are scheduled for Tuesday, with candidates for City Council, Borough Assembly and School Board seeking to fill three-year terms.

The choices for City Council are incumbents Dick Coose and Matt Olsen and challenger Judy Zenge. Coose is retired from the Forest Service; Olsen is an elementary school teacher, and Zenge is The Plaza manager.

The city ballot also includes a ballot proposition, which seeks voter approval for a $43-million bond to expand and renovate the hospital building. The bond will be repaid through an existing sales tax dedicated to the hospital.

In the borough, Assembly candidates are incumbents Alan Bailey and Bill Rotecki and challenger John Harrington. Bailey is retired from the Alaska criminal justice system; Harrington is a retired teacher, and Rotecki is a carpenter.

School Board candidates include incumbent Dave Timmerman, Trevor Shaw and Camille Booth. Timmerman is port operations coordinator for Ketchikan; Shaw is a student, and Booth is director of the Southern Southeast Alaska Technical Education Center.

Saxman's candidates are Woodrow Anderson, Woodrow Watson, Richard Makua and Trudi Swink for three-year terms, and Slyvia Banie for a two-year term. Anderson is a tour coordinator for Saxman; Watson is retired from the Alaska Marine Highway System; Makua is employed by AMHS; Swink is a homemaker, and Banie is a retired life-raft technician.

Saxman and South Tongass Service Area voters also will vote on a proposition seeking approval to combine Saxman and the service area for fire protection and create a South Tongass Water Service separate from Saxman.

These people have done their part, putting forth their names and agreeing to fulfill all of the responsibilities the terms entail. The same is true for the people who wrote the propositions; they have put forth the effort and given the time necessary to give voters a choice.

Next, voters do their part.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The seven voting precincts are located at Schoenbar Middle School, The Plaza, the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry terminal, North Tongass Fire Station No. 6, and North Tongass Fire Station No. 8, Saxman Community Center and Fawn Mountain Elementary School.