KSTK is interviewing candidates for Wrangell’s municipal election in the lead up to voting day on October 6. Listen to the candidates explain why they chose to run (or why they’re running for reelection) below:

Borough Mayor’s seat:

Steve Prysunka

Current Mayor Steve Prysunka explains why he’s running for reelection.

“I decided to run again mostly just to (hopefully) bring some consistency to the position for two terms. It kind of takes you one term to figure things out. And hopefully in the second one, you don’t make the same mistakes you made on your first term. But I want to continue working with the community on our COVID response. That’s absolutely crucial. And if we can keep things rolling forward, and businesses open, and the community healthy, that’s so important. The second thing is: we are going to be faced with some really tough economic times coming up, just given the state of the state, and the lack of funds that are being transferred down to the community, and our own needs within the community for infrastructure, for buildings that need to be replaced. So at this point, I thought I would try to stick around for another two years and see what I can do to help make the situation better and help to lead the way.” – Steve Prysunka

Borough assembly seat (two seats open):

Ryan Howe

Current assembly member Ryan Howe on why he’s running for reelection.

“I started to do a lot of things in the summer. I started to get a look at infrastructure, started to get a look at budgeting for next year, started to get a look at, you know, a lot of these initiatives that I think I’d like to see through, and I feel like I have a lot to give. I’ve lived here for a long time, and I love Wrangell, and I see areas that I can help. I’ve always wanted to serve, and I’ll do my best to always listen and to try to match the actions that I take with the priorities of the community. And I think that’s really important in a position like this–to remember who your constituency is.” – Ryan Howe

Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer Jackson on why she chose to run for Wrangell’s Borough Assembly.

“I really just want to do what I can to make Wrangell the place that everybody wants to stay and raise their kids and retire in, and see what I can do to get the city cleaned up a little bit and just be part of the decisions–make good decisions for Wrangell.” – Jennifer Jackson

Anne Morrison

Current assembly member Anne Morrison explains what made her want to run for reelection.

“There are some things that are not finished. There are always things that are not finished, but some projects that I’m really interested in seeing completed, or at least moved along. And that’s mostly it and, you know, doing what can be done for the good of all the people in Wrangell. I think people should give back to their communities, so this is one way to do it.” – Anne Morrison

Borough assembly (one unexpired term):

Terry Courson

Terry Courson on what motivated him to run for borough assembly.

“I’m new to this. So like I was telling the guy at the paper, [I thought I’d] just throw my name in the hat. People know me from years of working here. So I don’t think a lot of introductions are required. I was a cop here in Wrangell for more than 20 years, and it seems like I’ve always complained, like every other citizen of town, about different things that are going on. This would be my opportunity to go ahead and maybe fix a few things.” – Terry Courson

Bob Dalrymple

Recently appointed assembly member Bob Dalrymple on why he decided to run for the borough assembly.

“I’m currently serving on the assembly in an appointed position, and I also serve on the borough’s Economic Development Committee. Public service is important to me, and I’d like to contribute back to the community. My experience and abilities I think will work well with the borough assembly. I guess my main concern is for Wrangell’s future as it comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d like to help guide the borough through the upcoming tough times. And I think we really need to look for some new opportunities to grow Wrangell’s economy.” – Bob Dalrymple

School board:

Laura Ballou

Laura Ballou explains what made her want to run for Wrangell’s school board.

“In my experience here in the community, I have spoken with a lot of parents who seem very frustrated by a lack of communication between themselves and the school district and feeling like they’re not being heard. That made me want to explore the issues that are going on and see if I can be part of the solution. I have been concerned regarding the recent spending issues that were brought to light by the superintendent as well as other school employees who were clearly involved in the situation. And I don’t know what, if any, action has been taken on the other employees or if it’s relevant. I’m also very concerned with the significant drop in enrollment, and what the causes are; whether it’s that there seem to be some concerns in the community about school leadership, as well as mask mandates and not feeling heard. And while some of these things are probably very appropriately done, such as a mask mandate, because we are falling in line with other statewide recommendations, there is more than needs to be explored on why we are losing our enrollment, because that will be to funding reductions which will hurt the entire community going forward.” – Laura Ballou

Constance Harris

Constance Harris on why she’s running for the Wrangell School Board.

“I was very interested in getting involved in the community. I’ve been involved in a different board outside of the community, and I just wanted to be closer to home. I was interested in the school board specifically because my kid goes to school and I want to make sure that everything is good for the kids, good for the teachers. I care about what happens to them. And it just seemed like the right spot for me to start getting involved in the community. I don’t have any particular agenda. I just really want to make sure that everything is as good as it can be, especially given the times. For the kids, for the teachers. I’m passionate about learning and making sure that they’re cared for and safe, and I’m just eager to learn. I really just want to help and I want to learn.” – Constance Harris

Port Commission seat:

Gary Morrison

Current Port Commission member Gary Morrison on why he’s running for another term on the Port Commission.

“I’m a retiree, a 13 year resident of Wrangell. I have owned a sport boat the entire time I’ve been here. I’ve been on the port commission, two short terms, appointment terms, and now running for a three year term. There are a number of issues that we’ve been dealing with that I’m interested in continuing to work on and hopefully with the new harbormaster we’ll be able to accomplish some of them. I’m particularly interested in additional safety features at the harbors, particularly more ladders that can get you out of the water, and most specifically down at the new harbor, where it’s almost three feet from the water up to the dock and nobody would ever be able to get out of there if they fell in. I’m also interested in getting the rest of the parking lot down at Shoemaker graveled. I’m interested in helping to continue to complete the Mariners’ Memorial. One thing I would like to see us try to do is get funding somewhere to add a second boat launch at Heritage Harbor on the opposite side of the walk ramp there. Those are the main things that I’m interested in working [on], and working with the new harbormaster who is new in the job and everyone on our port commission has some insight and can help him out.” – Gary Morrison

A full look at Wrangell’s municipal ballot:

Borough Mayor (1 seat)1. Steve Prysunka
Borough Assembly (2 seats)1. Ryan Howe
2. Anne Morrison
3. Jennifer Jackson
Borough Assembly (Unexpired term until 2021, 1 seat)1. Terry Courson
2. Bob Dalrymple
School Board (1 seat)1. Laura Ballou
2. Constance Harris
Port Commission (1 seat)1. Gary Morrison
Port Commission (Unexpired term until 2022, 1 seat)

Get in touch with KSTK at news@kstk.org or (907) 874-2345.