Bethel City Council Member Raymond 'Thor' Williams Running For Re-election

Sep 17, 2019

Bethel City Council Member Raymond "Thor" Williams is running for re-election.
Credit Gabby Hiestand Salgado / KYUK

KYUK is wrapping up its series of profiles on candidates for Bethel City Council with Raymond "Thor" Williams. You can listen to Bethel City Council candidate Raymond "Thor" Williams' full “Coffee@KYUK” interview online.

Raymond "Thor" Williams first moved to Bethel in 1992 to work as a Child Protective Service social worker for the state, and since then he’s become a father and a grandfather in Hoffman Subdivision. Now he works at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, helping people with opioid addictions.

This is not Williams' first bid at city government. He was first elected in 1996, and he’s served multiple times since, including as Bethel’s mayor. He says that he knows what it takes to be a leader.

“Sometimes it’s taking on the tough stuff,” Williams said. “The stuff that people don’t want to deal with.”

Williams says that includes dealing with personnel, making sure the city’s administration is doing what the community wants.

“And doing that does ruffle feathers, there’s no doubt about it,” Williams said. “There’s some people, [who say] ‘Well you can’t micromanage your administration. That’s not your job.’ But you hire and fire that person, so every city council is the supervisor of the head of the administration.” 

Williams’ proudest accomplishment on council was an update in the Bethel Municipal Code. He said that this update made clear what the responsibilities of the city’s administration and department heads are.

“Because you have to have clarity. Clarity is one of the biggest responsibilities that any council has,” Williams said. “The administration and the city works for the people, and you have to have clear definitions on that.”

Williams says that as a council member, he's tried to do his duty of defining the expectations and making sure they’re enforced.

“The long-time Bethelites understand that, and they know who I am from that past and who I’ve been on city council,” Williams said.

Williams says that if he’s re-elected, he wants to focus on finding the right people for the open city manager and city attorney positions.