KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska city councilor and former mayor has resigned his council seat 32 years after he first joined the board.

Lew Williams III submitted a letter of resignation to Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Sivertsen Monday, The Ketchikan Daily News reported.

Williams was first elected to the council in 1987 and served as mayor from 2009 to 2017.

He cited health reasons for his resignation.

Williams was elected to an eighth term on the council in October but has participated in council meetings by phone since Nov. 7.

The city council will advertise and solicit applications before publicly interviewing candidates at a council meeting and voting on a replacement. The process will begin after the start of the new year, Sivertsen said.

The appointed councilor will serve until the next municipal election, not through the remainder of Williams’ three-year term, City Clerk Kim Stanker said.


Williams is the co-publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, which has been in his family for two generations.

Williams apologized in his resignation letter for not being able to continue.

“To the council, I am confident you will always do what’s be for Ketchikan and I thank you for that commitment,” Williams wrote. “I will be praying for you every day.”

Prior to his October reelection, the council appointed Williams in May to fill a seat vacated by another councilor.

Sivertsen said he was appointed to the council when Williams first became mayor.

“For me he’s been a great mentor and example to follow,” Sivertsen said.