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Ketchikan, Alaska

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Last reviewed: August 2012

Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials P
Permits, zoning N
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public Records N
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Local Taxes Y
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Ketchikan is a city in Alaska, and is the southeastern most city in Alaska. With an estimated population of 14,070 in 2010 within the city limits, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state.

Ketchikan's economy is based upon tourism and fishing, and the city is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the area's major attractions. For most of the latter half of the 20th century, a large portion of Ketchikan's economy and life centered around the Ketchikan Pulp Company pulp mill in nearby Ward Cove. Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. Ketchikan comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear.[1]

The good

  • The current budget is published and previous budgets are available for the last three years[2]
  • The calendar of meetings, agendas and minutes are available and archived at least three years[3]
  • Names of elected officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address is available[4]
  • Some names of administrative officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address is available[5]
  • The current audit is published and previous audits are available for the last three years[2]
  • Bids are posted, including approved contracts over $10,000[6]
  • Tax revenues are available[2] and tax rates are published[2]

The bad

  • The search function does not work.
  • Not all city departments include contact information; for example, the city attorney is unlisted in the department information.[7]
  • Lobbying information is unavailable, including membership and associated fees.
  • Public records request policy and associated forms are unavailable.
  • Information on zoning and permits is unavailable.

Elected Officials

Name Title
Lew Williams III Mayor
Dick Coose Councilmember
Sam Bergeron Councilmember
KJ Harris Councilmember
Matt Olsen Councilmember
DeAnn Karlson Councilmember
Robert Sivertsen Vice-Mayor
Marty West Councilmember

Administrative Officials

Name Title
Katherine Suiter City Clerk
Karl Amylon City Manager
Liz Jones Civic Center Manager
Robert Newell, Jr. Finance Director
Nicolle Lewis Office Services Manager
Frank Share Fire Chief
Marie Miller Human Resources Manager
Curtis Thomas Information Technology Director
Alan Bengaard Police Chief
Steve Coporon Ports & Harbor Director


The operating budget for FY2012 was $102,355,475. Of that, the largest expenditure was for the ports and harbors ($25,311,651), followed by public works ($21,642,082), public safety ($9,395,803), other ($8,759,266), culture ($5,816,459), and health and welfare ($1,544,339).

Based on the proposed spending plan, a deficit of $1.17 million was projected for the general fund.

All of the city’s collective bargaining agreements were to be renegotiated in 2012. A two percent COLA was programmed for all City employees, effective January 1, 2012, with the exception of represented public safety employees working for the police department; their effective date was July 1, 2012.[2]


The city of Ketchikan received $7,874,545 in federal stimulus money in 8 grants.[8]

Local taxes

The 2012 budget contained a proposed property tax increase, which was needed to fund the debt service for bonds issued by the city. The raised mill rate from 6.2 to 6.5 was projected to raise about $248,000 that was to be dedicated to the debt service. The increase was projected to raise about $248,000 in additional property tax revenues.

Sales tax revenues were projected to increase 2 percent above 2011 estimated sales tax revenues. If this projection is realized, it will be the city’s second best year for sales tax revenues.[2]


  1. Wikipedia, Ketchikan, Alaska, accessed July 11, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 City of Ketchikan, Finance, accessed August, 2012
  3. City of Ketchikan, Meetings, agendas and minutes, accessed August, 2012
  4. City of Ketchikan, Mayor and City Council Contact, accessed August, 2012
  5. City of Ketchikan, City Departments, accessed August, 2012
  6. E-Gov Services, City of Ketchikan, Bid Postings, accessed August, 2012
  7. City of Ketchikan, City Attorney, accessed August, 2012
  8. Stimulus Watch, Ketchikan, Alaska, accessed July 11, 2013