To serve on council is an honor

by Peter Twitchell

The fair City of Bethel, Alaska is not a thriving community with unlimited municipal funds like Barrow, for example. I don’t believe the Bethel City Council members should be paid public servants or get free water and sewer services for being on the city council.

They are elected city officials by the people – for the people.

In 1977 I chose to run for a seat on the Bethel City Council for a couple reasons. To advocate/support people who needed Bethel utilities services across the city. Some families lacked power lines across the Slough, and even water and sewer services because easements were not there to access their homes for city services.

Also the fact still remains – city delivered water is very expensive, and some residents of Bethel can’t afford it.

I was one of those people struggling to make ends meet, working and driving a cab just to make ends meet.

I would never ask the City of Bethel to give me “free” city services or compensate me for sitting on a city council seat.

For those of us on the Bethel City Council it was our civic duty, servitude to our community. Being a city council member has never been a paid position, and should never be.

If anything keep the cost of city utilities down for the sake of all the residents of Bethel, instead of spending our energy trying to line our pockets with money.

Today, I am grateful for the only plaque I’ve ever received in my life from the City of Bethel. It was an honor serving the people of Bethel representing them on the City Council for almost 3 two year terms. Thank you.