The Skagway Borough Assembly will soon have an empty seat.
Assembly member Angela Grieser handed in a letter of resignation late last week.
She cites her difficult recovery from thyroid cancer as the reason for her departure. Grieser says working a full-time job, serving on the assembly and dealing with health issues has been too much.
Grieser was elected to the assembly in 2014. Her term was set to expire this October. She says, she has one big regret.
“I most regret that we didn’t get anything accomplished yet as far as the port goes, as far as the floating dock and getting contamination cleaned up and everything,” Grieser said. “That was my number one priority.”
Grieser was supportive of a tidelands lease between the municipality and White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. It would have given the borough access to areas of the port currently controlled by the railroad. But voters rejected the agreement in 2015.
Grieser has been the only woman on the assembly during her time in office. In her resignation letter, she encourages other women to get involved in city government.
“[Women are] half the population and we’re not really represented very well,” she said.
Grieser’s resignation won’t be official until accepted by the full assembly, which is likely to happen at a meeting this Thursday. Then, it will be up to the remaining five members to appoint someone to her seat. They have 30 days to do so.
This isn’t the only Skagway Assembly appointment in the past year. Dan Henry resigned just a couple weeks after the local election in October. Several months before, he pleaded guilty to federal tax charges. He had to report to prison to serve a year-and-a-day sentence.
For that seat, Mayor Mark Schaefer recommended port commissioner Tim Bourcy. But the assembly instead chose to appoint Spencer Morgan, whose term had just ended. Morgan filed a last-minute write in campaign to try to retain his spot on the assembly, but was unsuccessful.
Morgan and the person appointed to Grieser’s seat will serve until the October election.
Haines also has an assembly seat up for appointment. Mike Case resigned last week after a contentious decision over who to hire as borough manager. Case’s resignation is effective starting today. The Haines Borough is soliciting letters of interest for the assembly spot.
This story has been updated with comments from Angela Grieser.