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Unalaska City Council Appoints Daneen Looby To Fill Vacant Seat

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Berett Wilber/KUCB
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The Unalaska City Council appointed Daneen Looby to Seat D during Tuesday night's meeting, filling the position that was left vacant after longtime council member David Gregory stepped down in May.

Looby first came to Unalaska over thirty years ago. She owns two businesses in town, plus several properties, and says that she is dedicated to serving Unalaska.

"I've raised my family here in Unalaska, and my grandchildren are now being raised here, so I have a very vested interest in this community and I love it," Looby said. "My husband and I have sailed around the world and never found any place better than right here, so we came home." 

Seat D opened last month when Unalaska City Council member David Gregory resigned after 14 years in the job. He said he wants to be closer to his elderly mother in Anchorage. 

"It is bittersweet that I have to leave Unalaska, but like I said, family does come first," Gregory said at a council meeting last month. "I certainly will not be a stranger to Unalaska."

In response to Gregory's resignation, several members said they regretted losing him and his experience, but spoke favorably of newcomer Daneen Looby.

"I've known you for a long time," councilman Alejandro "Bong" Tungul told her.  "I think you'll be best fit on this seat." 

In a letter of interest submitted to the council, Looby wrote that she has the "dedication it takes to serve the public," which she says she has demonstrated "by participating in every city council meeting over the last year."

Councilman Dennis Robinson noted Looby's participation. 

"I for one have noticed your presence on the city council the past year," he told her. "I think I know you very well and I think you will do a very good job."

The only question from the council came from council member Shari Coleman, who asked Looby to speak about her engagement with civic groups in the community.

"I've been involved with a few of them," Looby responded. "I was elected president of the Unalaska Senior Citizens Board," where she started as a bookkeeper. 

She says she has also helped several nonprofit organizations with bookkeeping.

Councilman Thom Bell noted that Looby's bookkeeping experience makes her an ideal candidate to help manage the city's finances.

Two other residents had submitted letters of interest for the seat, but one revoked her letter prior to the meeting, citing a family emergency. The other did not show up to provide a statement or answer questions in person.

"I will not consider people that haven't shown up to speak and to show their interest in the job," Councilman Robinson said during the meeting. "If they're not here to be able to ask any questions, I'm ready to move to appoint you [Looby]."

The city council voted unanimously to appoint Looby, and she was sworn in to serve on Council Seat D of the Unalaska City Council.

 

Looby will hold the seat until the next regular election in October. The winner of that election will hold Seat D until the term expires in October 2022.

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