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Alaska News

Seward City Council member apologizes for antisemitic comment

KENAI — A Seward City Council member has apologized for making an antisemitic comment during a council work session earlier this week.

Council member Sharyl Seese said she was “embarrassed” and “very sorry” for the comments made Monday, the Peninsula Clarion reported.

The comments came during a nearly two-hour work session during which council members and city leaders discussed how to spend $1 million the city is receiving from Norwegian Cruise Line. Seese suggested that the city negotiate regarding plans to use $500,000 to reimburse developers and $500,000 to expand child care options, the Clarion reported.

“Maybe they can get other stuff to pay the difference to get the building and maybe we can Jew them down,” Seese said, according to a YouTube stream of the work session.

“You mean negotiate them down? Is that what you meant to say?” Christy Terry, the mayor of Seward, asked in response.

The comments were met with awkward laughter by some council members while Seward Vice Mayor Tony Baclaan put his head in his hands, the Clarion reported. The work session was almost immediately adjourned after the comment was made.

Seese issued a statement of apology Tuesday.

“Please accept my sincere apology for what I said last night during my comments at the work session,” Seese said in the statement. “I would never want to hurt or offend anyone, and my mouth got the best of me. I had a sleepless night worrying about hurting people.”