Frank Kelty

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Frank Victor Kelty is a former politician from Alaska. He is arguably still one of the most influential persons within both the business and the governmental circles of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, which is not only the largest municipality of the Aleutian Islands, but also the largest commercial fishing port of the United States.

Kelty was born Outside on November 10, 1949, and graduated from Renton High School in 1968. He was awarded a football scholarship to attend Olympic College, where he played for two years. In 1971, Kelty was hired to work for a small company called East Point Seafood, and moved to the Aleutians to work at East Point's crab processing plant in Dutch Harbor. By 1978, as the Bering Sea red king crab fishing boom was hitting, Kelty had been risen to the position of superintendent of East Point's operation in Dutch Harbor,[1] where he oversaw the expansion of its capacity in the early 1980s.

As Kelty’s prominence in the community grew, friends encouraged him to run for office. Kelty was elected to the first of three terms on the Unalaska city council in 1981. In 1990, Kelty was elected mayor of Unalaska, and was elected to five consecutive terms,[2] serving in that office longer than anyone else in city history.

During this time (as the mayor's position in the small town was part-time) Kelty continued to be employed in the local crabbing industry. In 1987, Kelty accepted a position at a rival firm, Alyeska Seafoods, as that larger company's plant manager. As his influence in the community grew, there were calls for Kelty, a lifelong Democrat, to seek state office. However, he resisted all such requests.

In 2000, Kelty accepted a full-time position with the City of Unalaska as Resource Analyst.[3] In this position, Kelty had responsibility to not only oversee the city's management of vital natural resources, but also to be a liaison with the many local seafood companies with a presence in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. However, as being an employee of the city would create a conflict of interest with his elected position, Kelty was required to resign as mayor. He did so, receiving accolades from politicians across the state for his service. Though no longer the mayor de jure of the community, Kelty’s commentary is regularly sought by state and national media when writing stories related to Dutch Harbor/Unalaska.,[4][5] and the city council sometimes sends him out of town to attend governmental and regulatory events, especially on matters dealing with the town's primary economic activity, fishing.[6]

Due to his position of great experience in both the seafood industry and as a local bush politician, Kelty's advice is regularly sought by others. He has accepted multiple invitations to testify in Washington, D.C., before committees of the US House of Representatives[7] and the US Senate,[8] as well as state panels investigating the Alaskan seafood industry. Though he no longer holds elected office, he nonetheless retains influence. He is active as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference, Chairman of the Marine Conservation Alliance, North Pacific Research Foundation AP, Bering Sea Research Foundation and the Chairman of Aleutians West Coastal Resource Service Area and elected position as well as serving on many local Unalaska boards.,[9] He has been also appointed to State of Alaska advisory panels by several governors of Alaska.[10]

Personal[edit]

In the past, Kelty was active in the local softball and basketball leagues, as the star pitcher/first baseman for the Unalaska City Slickers and power forward for the Aleutian Bottom Fish. Today, the local ballpark bears his name.

Kelty lives in Unalaska with Nancy, his wife since 1983. They have one child, Joanne, and three granddaughters.[11]

References[edit]