Tom Morphet, the owner, publisher, reporter, editor and designer for the Chilkat Valley News, was certified Monday to run for Haines Borough Assembly. According to the borough, Morphet filed his paperwork at 4:58 on Friday, Aug. 19. Public notices claimed that the filing deadline was Friday at 5 p.m. While Morphet handed in his paperwork just before the deadline, his financial disclosure forms were incomplete. Later Friday evening, he resubmitted completed forms.
According to Haines Borough Code, the filing deadline for municipal elections is actually August 20. But that date fell on a Saturday when the borough offices are closed.
Because of that confusion, borough manager Bill Seward said Monday they were consulting the borough attorney.
At 3 p.m on Monday, borough staff reported that his paperwork had been certified.
Morphet said Monday that he’s been critical of local government for a while, so it’s time to “put up or shut up.” He said he was waiting for someone better to file, but ultimately he wasn’t satisfied with the candidates, so he submitted his paperwork. Morphet has owned the CVN for five years, but said he’s looking to sell.
As for his role in the weekly publication, he said he hopes to shift operations to someone else and step away almost entirely. Who will take over is unclear.
That brings the number of candidates up to six, for two open assembly seats.
Morphet joins incumbent Diana Lapham, author Heather Lende, school district bookkeeper Judy Erekson, commercial fisherman Ryan Cook, and business owner Leonard Dubber.
The municipal election is Tuesday, Oct. 4.