Today is municipal election day in Haines and Skagway. In Skagway, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Assembly chambers at city hall.
Skagway residents will elect a mayor, deciding between incumbent Mark Schaefer and challenger Roger Griffin. They’ll also decide who will fill two open borough assembly seats. Incumbent Steve Burnham Jr. and political newcomer Jay Burnham are on the ballot. There are also two write-in candidates for assembly, David Brena and Mavis Irene Henricksen.
Skagway residents are also voting for the fate of a 35-year tidelands lease between the municipality and the parent company of White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. The lease allows the private company to continue to retain control of a portion of the city-owned waterfront. Mayoral candidate Griffin, along with assembly write-ins Brena and Henricksen, are opposed to the current lease. Mayor Schaefer, and assembly candidates Jay Burnham and Steve Burnham Jr., support the lease.
But no matter who is elected, the voters will determine whether the lease as proposed will move forward.
Skagway residents are also voting for school board candidates for two open seats, although only one person, John Hischer, has filed for election.
In the Haines town site, polls open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. in a new polling location, the Chilkat Center. Residents who live out the highway can vote at their usual polling place, the Klehini Valley Fire Department on Mosquito Lake Road.
Haines residents are electing two borough assembly members out of three candidates: Jerry Lapp, Tresham Gregg and Margaret Friedenauer.
There are also three school board seats up for election, with three candidates running: School board newcomer Inez Gross and current board members Sara Chapell and Mike Wilson.
KHNS will have live updates on election results tonight. Tune in between 8 and 10 p.m. to hear the initial results of the races in Skagway and Haines.
KHNS election coverage: