Wrangell’s newest Borough Assembly member is a relatively recent arrival.
Mark Mitchell was appointed at this week’s assembly meeting. He fills a seat vacated last month when Wilma Stokes resigned because of her health.
Mitchell calls himself a semi-retired rancher.
“I moved from Colorado to Wrangell about a year and a half ago. We have bought some property (and are) building a new shop. We plan to do some fish processing in the off-season. I have a crabbing license. My son has a troll permit. So we’re going to go into commercial fishing,” he says.
Mitchell owns an online store that sells sport-fishing supplies. He’s added salt-water gear since moving to Alaska.
He’s already active in municipal issues, with a seat on Wrangell’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
And that’s not his first time in government.
“I was involved in county government back in Colorado and worked hard to make things better and keep government in check. I’m kind of a property-rights man. I believe in free enterprise and I think government can do more harm than good most of the time. So it’s goal to see that they help not hurt,” he says.
Mitchell was the only person who applied for the empty seat on the Borough Assembly. He says he was surprised to be appointed.
His term ends mid-October, unless he files for election and wins. He says he’ll consider that possibility after learning more about being on the assembly.