Letter to the Editor: The roles and tumbles of leadership

Mayor Clay Koplin denounces the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and reflects on Cordova's strong tradition of
Mayor Clay Koplin. (April 24, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

It has been both a challenging and rewarding experience to serve as mayor of Cordova.

This is a community that holds fair and open elections, is deeply invested in self-governance, and safely exercises their right of free speech. This is reflected in our choice to be a class 1 home rule city, in our frequent engagements with City Council and other arenas of public debate to respectfully disagree our way to solutions, in our peaceable demonstrations, and in our willingness to make personal sacrifices of ideology and convenience for the benefit of the community.

If there was a silver lining for 2020, it was that Cordova exemplified these values and behaviors to safely navigate its stormy seas and earn the respect and support of state and community peer leaders. I personally consider a fair election process, the right to peaceably exercise free speech and assembly, and self-governance (the core of liberty) from a personal level to local, state and federal government levels as the foundations of our Republic.

I also consider it both my right and responsibility as an American citizen to question and oppose any threats to those foundations — an arena in which my personal convictions and perceptions can compete with expectations for neutrality in my role as a leader.

For clarification, Jan. 6, violent protests erupted in our nation’s capital during the validation of our national election, and as both a leader and a citizen, I condemn the violence and any who encouraged it.

I noted that our full Alaskan Congressional Delegation, those I consider closest to the facts regarding election fairness, validated the election and I am satisfied. I look forward to working with the new Federal administration, our Congressional Delegation, our State Legislators, and our Governor in the coming year to restore cooperation and confidence in government and exemplify the kind of leadership that the entire community of Cordova has demonstrated and deserves from us.


Clay Koplin