Dillingham City Council election set for Oct. 1

Sep 26, 2019

Residents will vote on two city council seats and one school board seat. Incumbent Chris Napoli is running for city council seat A unopposed. Dillingham High School instructor Kaleb Westfall and science teacher Bill Rodowalt are vying for seat B.

 

Dillingham City Hall, September 2018.
Credit ISABELLE ROSS/KDLG

Dillingham’s municipal election is next week. Residents will vote for two city council seats, A and B. Each is a three-year term. 

Chris Napoli is running unopposed for re-election to seat A. He currently serves on the council and works for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation. Dillingham High School instructor Kaleb Westfall and science teacher Bill Rodowalt are both running for seat B.

All three candidates are concerned about the city’s infrastructure. Dillingham’s roads, water and sewage, lagoon aeration and waterfront projects will all kick off next spring. The city budget and revenue streams are also a priority for the three candidates.

Napoli has served back-to-back one-year terms on the city council. He wants to tackle issues with the current debt, and explore ways to improve the community.

 

“We need to aggressively pursue the waterfront project once the draft is done by McDowell Group," he said. "The harbor needs new floats estimated at $5.2 million. You’re not gonna pull that out of the general fund. So we’ll need to seek out grants and get some legislative help at the federal level.”

Napoli also wants to work on the reduced school bond, an issue Bill Rodowalt wants to explore as well.

Rodowalt moved to Dillingham 15 years ago. He has previously spent time as director of the city’s planning commission. His three priorities in office would be safety, health and education.

 

“Funding for schools has kind of a multiplier," he said. "The more we can give to the schools the more that the schools get from the states. We want to at least be able to keep funding it at what it is right now. It also works in reverse; if we cut money we lose money from the state.”

Kaleb Westfall shares those concerns about the city’s budget. Westfall started commercial fishing in Bristol Bay in 2001. His decision to run was sparked by a desire to give back to his community. He wants to seek out new revenue streams for the city and improve public safety.

 

"We do have a few problems here in Dillingham – some petty crime or nuisance crime – that myself and a lot of people want to see curtailed," Westfall said. "There’s a lot of DV issues and alcohol related issues. Maybe we could find some way to get more funding or grants to help fund our social programs.”

Absentee voting is open until Sept. 30. Voters can cast absentee ballots in person at the Dillingham City Hall. Polls will be open Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. 

Find KDLG's coverage of the school board election here.

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200