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Ketchikan has a job opening on its City Council.
Sam Bergeron resigned from the council last week, given that, with his new job out of town, he was unable to attend sufficient meetings.
It is important to be at the table on meeting nights more often than not; Bergeron and others who have served on local bodies will agree that meeting attendance is not the same over the telephone. Sometimes it is difficult to hear; other times it is a challenge to be heard. It is impossible to completely gauge other Council members’ reactions to discussion when they cannot be seen. It simply is not the best situation as members of the public who tune in to watch and listen can testify to.
For Bergeron trying to make the council stint work out, the community should be grateful. It is a time-consuming and often thankless job, although elected officials can draw satisfaction from public service. Bergeron has tried before and had to resign because of work-related conflicts.
With that said, the council will need a Bergeron replacement and it should be someone who lives full time in the City of Ketchikan. The city charter states Council members need to be here, which makes sense because the constituency is here.
One likely candidate is former Council Member Dick Coose, who recently ran for re-election unsuccessfully, but served for several terms, and, for the most part, seemed to enjoy the time he served.
But other candidates might come forth, wanting to test the waters of City Council service by filling in during the interim.
If that is the outcome, then the Council will want a candidate of the usual nature for Ketchikan — with a mindset for service, adequate time to contribute to the city, good character and a passion for the community's well-being.
Whoever fills the slot will be in office until next October's local election. At that time, all interested parties would be able to meet the requirements for elected office and file in order to have their names appear on the ballot.
The Council is expected to fill the position in December, after it formally accepts Bergeron's resignation at the Nov. 21 meeting and then allows 10 days for possible replacements to express interest.
For those whose names appeared on the most recent City Council ballot and those who almost stepped forward, this is a second chance.
Second chances do not come along every day. Think quick and apply. Ketchikan has a job to be done.