Members of the Seward City Council take part in a work session on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Screenshot)

Members of the Seward City Council take part in a work session on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Screenshot)

Seward council member apologizes for antisemitic remark

Sharyl Seese made the comment during a council work session.

Seward City Council member Sharyl Seese issued a public statement of apology on Tuesday for comments she made during a council work session in which she referred to negotiating a price down as “Jew them down.”

The comments were made at the end of an almost two-hour work session during which the council discussed with city administration how to best spend $1 million given to the city by Norwegian Cruise Lines.

City administration and the council agreed to reconvene with further details about using $500,000 for developer reimbursement and $500,000 to expand child care options in the city at a later date. It was to those figures that Seese said the city could continue to negotiate.

“Maybe they can get other stuff to pay the difference to get the building and maybe we can Jew them down,” Seese said.

“You mean negotiate them down? Is that what you meant to say?” Seward Mayor Christy Terry asked.

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

In the statement of apology issued Tuesday, Seese said she was “embarrassed” and “very sorry” for the comments.

“Please accept my sincere apology for what I said last night during my comments at the work session,” Seese wrote. “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.”

The council’s full work session can be viewed on the City of Seward’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 6

Here’s what to expect this week.

Disney Williams (right) orders coffee from Lorelai Bingham from the Flying Squirrel coffee stand at Juneau International Airport on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New coffee stand at airport stirs up heated dispute about having proper authorization to operate

Fans of Flying Squirrel Espresso praise location, hours; officials say FAA violations could be costly.

Nano Brooks and Emily Mesch file for candidacy on Friday at the City and Borough of Juneau Municipal Clerk’s office in City Hall. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
City and Borough of Juneau regular municipal election candidate filing period opens

So far, most vie for Assembly District 2 seat — mayor, Board of Education, and District 1 also open.

Killah Priest performs at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center in December 2019. (Photo courtesy of Lance Mitchell)
Killah Priest sets new record with Alaskan artists on ‘Killah Borealis’

Wu-Tang Clan rapper seeks to lift Alaskan voices and culture in his return performance to Juneau

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, July 10, 2024

For Wednesday, July 10 Attempt to Serve At 10:06 a.m. on Wednesday,… Continue reading

Commercial fishing boats are lined up at the dock at Seward’s harbor on June 22. Federal grants totaling a bit over $5 million have been awarded to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to help Alaskans sell more fish to more diverse groups of consumers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Federal grants to state agency aim to expand markets for Alaska seafood

More than $5M to help ASMI comes after Gov. Dunleavy vetoed $10M for agency.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up the omnibus crime bill, House Bill 66, after signing it at a ceremony Thursday at the Department of Public Safety’s aircraft hangar at Lake Hood in Anchorage. At his side are Sandy Snodgrass, whose 22-year-old son died in 2021 from a fentanyl overdose, and Angela Harris, who was stabbed in 2022 by a mentally disturbed man at the public library in Anchorage and injured so badly that she now uses a wheelchair. Snodgrass and Harris advocated for provisions in the bill.Behind them are legislators, law enforcement officers and others. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Goals for new Alaska crime law range from harsher penalties for drug dealers to reducing recidivism

Some celebrate major progress on state’s thorniest crime issues while others criticize the methods.

Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen (left) and Vice President Emil Mackey, holding his son Emil Mackey IV, listen to discussion about next year’s budget for the school district during a meeting March 14 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Recall votes for both board members were certified this week for the Oct. 1 municipal election ballot. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Petitions to recall two Juneau school board leaders get enough signatures for Oct. 1 election ballot

President Deedie Sorensen, Vice President Emil Mackey targeted due to school district’s budget crisis.

Most Read