These are sobering times in Ketchikan.

The topics at Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly, Ketchikan School Board and Ketchikan City Council meetings have been and continue to be difficult as our community grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and other events, searching for the best ways to move forward.

A look through the Ketchikan City Council agenda for Thursday’s meeting is a case in point.

In addition to a range of issues involving and affected by the pandemic, Council members will be discussing a statement regarding recent national events and Ketchikan Police Department practices, and a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance. There are a host of regular city business items on the agenda, in addition to requests for conducting a Fourth of July parade and a  Fourth of July fireworks show.

There’s also action proposed regarding the city’s request-for-proposal process regarding potential expansion of the downtown berths and related infrastructure.

All of these things require thoughtful consideration on the part of our elected officials and municipal staffs.

Most of our local elected officials on Jan. 1, 2020, could not have fully imagined where the world, the United States, Alaska and Ketchikan would be on June 18, 2020. Nevertheless, here we are, and we’re relying on them to do their utmost to provide effective leadership and make sound decisions.

But everyone else has responsibilities, too. Our elected officials represent — and reflect —the community. We can assist through reasoned input, positive support and a heart for the Ketchikan community.

That’s not easy in difficult times. Yet if we are to succeed, we believe it is the best approach.

Keep our elected officials in mind. Study up on the issues they (we) are working on. Offer suggestions for solutions. Keep the conversations civil.

We’re not going to agree on everything. We can agree to participate in good faith, though, which can be a great help to our elected officials as they work to represent their community as best they can.