Michael Ottesen and Anne Morrison run for assembly unopposed

Two candidates will be running for two seats on the borough assembly in the municipal election Oct. 3 - Michael J. Ottesen and incumbent Anne Morrison.

Barring a successful write-in campaign, both candidates will be elected for three-year terms.

Ottesen, a captain and tour guide for Alaska Vistas, is running for public office for the first time to bolster youth engagement in municipal government and develop the town's economy.

"I feel like we need a little bit more ... of the younger generation getting involved in more parts of the city," he said. His priorities include "anything that I can do to help develop the town and bring a new fresh look on things, whether that be the water plant, or roads, or other infrastructure around town."

He hopes to "help bring Wrangell to the fullest extent that it can be."

Ottesen acknowledges that serving on the assembly for the first time will involve a learning curve, but he prides himself on his ability to pick up new skills quickly.

Morrison was first elected to the assembly in 2018. During her tenure, the borough has undertaken construction of new trails, the recent pool siding project and preparations for the construction of the water treatment plant. "There have been so many positive things that have happened here lately," she said. "We have a good working relationship with the school district. It's a good assembly - I think we work well together."

She's pursuing another term because "there are a lot of things I'd like to see to fruition," she said, and wants to help maintain the momentum that the borough currently has on its projects.

"Hopefully, we'll get the (conditions) report on the school buildings and be able to do something with those, because they are in dire need," she added. The Public Safety Building, 6-Mile mill site development and Alder Top Village (Keishangita.'aan) subdivision are also among her priorities. "I want to see some of these things done."

Beyond her years on the Wrangell assembly, Morrison has extensive background in municipal government. She's worked for the governor's office and served on the Sitka assembly. "I kind of know how it works and how state networking works," she said. "I have a real desire to see people come together and build consensus."

Despite running unopposed, she still encourages the community to "get out and vote."

Assembly Member Ryan Howe, who teaches at Wrangell Public Schools, did not pursue reelection due to his schedule.

"If I choose not to run, it will be because of too many other time commitments," he said in an earlier interview. "I've greatly enjoyed serving. I'm heading into the final year of my school admin program, which is when I'll be doing most of my research projects and logging practicum hours; this will take up considerably more of my time."


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