Vice Mayor Bill Privett has resigned. His resignation from the Borough Assembly was accepted at Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall.
Former Vice Mayor Bill Privett said he resigned in deference to nepotism laws. Nepotism is when a family member is granted special privileges because of family connections, rather than qualifications.
“Well, my grandson applied for a job with Castle Mountain Entertainment which is owned by the city. And in order for him to qualify to apply for that job and possibly be employed, as his grandfather, I can’t sit on the Assembly. So it’s because of nepotism laws. I had to resign,” said Privett.
Privett said that while he’s valued his time on the Assembly, he doesn’t want to stand in the way of his family being employed.
“Well according to the attorney, he wouldn’t be able to get the job. I’m not sure how the deal is. You’ve got to be three times removed before it can no longer be considered nepotism, and a grandfather doesn’t quite cut it. That’s not three times so anyway, to make a long story short, in order for him to get the job, I had to step down,” said Privett.
Mayor David Jack said Privett will be missed at City Hall. But he understands Privett’s need to resign.
“Well, I’m disappointed, you know. I guess that’s the only way to put it. Because I think he does a good job on the Assembly. And he has in the past. I’m sure he will be a service to the community in the future. But I can certainly understand his feelings and his reasons for resigning were personal. I just wish him the best and as I said before, he has been a very good person to serve the community,” said Jack.
Looking back on his time on the Assembly, Privett said he’s enjoyed seeing the democratic process at work. He said Wrangell has always been his home. And he initially got involved in local government to take an active role in this community.
“I have always enjoyed it. It was fun. I felt an obligation—a sense of duty. I mean, I’ve lived in Wrangell my whole life. This is my community. And so, when things are good it affects me and when things are bad it affects me, as well as my family and extended family and friends, and everything else,” said Privett.
Privett said while it’s not always easy to be part of local government, it’s an important job to do.
“And I think that everybody who does run and gets involved in these volunteer positions, they do it with—at least in their minds—their best intentions. Now, some people get mad at them through the time. Some people make mistakes—they do things different. By and large I think that very few people that I’ve ever known did not start out at least, doing the right thing. And in their minds, they continued to do the right things. Now whether the public agreed with them or not, that’s a different story. But that’s what elections are all about. That’s the way the democratic system works,” said Privett.
Looking to the future, Privett said he’ll continue working with Wrangell Oil and spending time with his family.