Filing periods are around the corner for October municipal elections in Haines and Skagway.
In Skagway, residents will be voting for mayor, two assembly members, and two school board members. Mayor Mark Shaefer, assembly members Gary Hanson and Steve Burnham Jr., and school board members John Hischer and Stuart Brown’s terms expire in 2015. All of them could run for their seats again.
In Haines, voters will fill two seats on the borough assembly and three on the school board. Assembly seats currently occupied by Dave Berry Jr. and Joanne Waterman open this year. School board seats held by Sara Chapell, Mike Wilson and Tiffany Dewitt are also up for election. Wilson and Dewitt were appointed to their seats last December. All of those candidates also could run for re-election.
The candidate filing period opens on August 3rd and closes August 17th in Skagway and August 20th in Haines. The deadline to register to vote is September 6th. Filing information can be found on the Haines Borough website or offices and at the Skagway municipal offices. Election Day is Tuesday, October 6th.
Skagway also has a special municipal election on the pending tidelands lease with White Pass and Yukon Railroad scheduled for August 25th. But that vote could get pushed to the general election in October. Assemblyman Steve Burnham Jr. says he plans to propose a resolution at the next assembly meeting to essentially cancel the August special election and move the lease vote to the October regular election.
At the last borough assembly meeting, a proposal from Assembly member Gary Hanson to reconsider the election date failed in a 3-to-3 vote. Burnham voted against it then. But since, he says he has talked to some regular voters who didn’t know about the August election.
So, while the lease vote is currently set for August 25th, the assembly could vote to change it at their August 6th meeting.
Voters will decide whether to ratify a tidelands lease between Skagway and the company that owns White Pass. It is a 35-year contract that delegates control, responsibility and payments for Skagway’s waterfront and harbor property. Information on the lease vote can be found on the Skagway municipality website.