There are four people running for three seats on the Bethel City Council, and Rose "Sugar" Henderson is one of them. She is new to politics but not to civic engagement. She was part of the board for the Bethel Little League, on the Ladies Auxiliary, and worked with the Cub Scouts. She has also worked with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s hospital governing board.
The idea of working more directly with the city came during the pandemic.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to contribute my time to this beautiful town, and I figured that I better start somewhere, and the city council was the best place to start,” Henderson said.
Henderson is worried about the pandemic spreading in Bethel and wants to enforce the mask mandate, because she sees too many locals in stores without face coverings.
“There has to be a way that we can enforce it to where people do take it seriously or know that the city is serious about protecting its population,” Henderson said. “And there has to be something. I don’t know what it is yet. That’s why I want to look into it more to see what we can do and what we cannot do.”
If elected, Henderson says that she would want the council to not micromanage its staff. She wants to see the council hire a city manager and help that person grow into the job, but not interfere directly with their work.
“If I were to apply, that would be my biggest fear is the city council butting in and interfering with the way I do business,” she said. “I guess it would be the assurance that they would be able to do their job, and we would trust them to do their job.”
Henderson wishes the city council would hire someone local to manage Bethel's city government. She said that the hire would stick around longer.
On Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., KYUK will air a live forum with all of the candidates running for Bethel City Council. Municipal elections are Oct. 6.
KYUK invited all four candidates running in the 2020 Bethel City Council election to join us on our morning talk show Coffee@KYUK. We are writing a news article based on each of those interviews. Candidates Rose “Sugar” Henderson, Conrad “C.J.” McCormick, and Michelle DeWitt accepted our invitation. Mayor Perry Barr did not.