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Cut or tax, it's that simple. And capping the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend payouts is essentially a tax; it has the same effect of taking money from Alaskans.

Marian Glenz, 80, of Wrangell, died April 26, 2017, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
D. Ford Miller IV, 54, died April 12, 2017, in Ketchikan.
Floyd S. Crocker, 76, died April 13, 2017, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
And they’re off!

Until now, it had all been theoretical. But starting Thursday, local election season turned real: The first two candidates filed for election on the very first day filing was allowed. That’s a propitious omen for voters.

It’s promising, because we want to have choices when we step into the voting booth on Oct. 1. Now if we can just get 10 more candidates spread evenly across the three possibilities, we’ll be sitting pretty.

The Ketchikan City Council, Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and Ketchikan School Board all will have two seats up for election, each for a term of three years. Only the Borough Assembly has term limits — a limitation in a town with such a small pool of candidates — but this year, fortunately, that is not an issue. Those whose seats are up for election can run again if they’d like to. That’s as it should be every year.

So in 2013 in Ketchikan, the field is open to all comers. Maybe it’s finally your turn to give it a try. Ketchikan has a vast array of people who are involved in the community up to their elbows in a variety of volunteer undertakings. But sometimes it doesn’t occur to people that they could help out with local governing, too. (There is some pay involved, but for the time such a commitment takes, the pay is nominal; it’s really a labor of love to serve the community as an elected official.) Some feel unqualified to take on such roles. The most important qualification, once one meets the simple age and residency requirements, is to care about Ketchikan and to want people treated fairly and served as well as possible by their local government.

More than that, we all have ideas about how government ought to work. In Washington, D.C., all the good ideas in the world might not translate into good government because there are so many people who have to hammer out agreements. At the local level, that’s not the case. In each of the three bodies, seven people make the decisions. That means an individual serving on those bodies has an enormous say in the future of our community. Consider how much good one might do, being one of at least four who makes things happen in our schools, city and borough. Each body has its niche; each member is vital to our success as a community.

The filing season is brief: It ends three weeks from Monday, at noon on Aug. 26, for city, borough, and schools. Check with the city clerk or borough clerk for details.

Get in the race.