The Haines Borough Assembly has a new member. On Tuesday, Sean Maidy was appointed to Margaret Friedenauer’s former seat.
Friedenauer’s resignation was the second in less than two months. She stepped down at the end of May. Mike Case left the assembly in April. Former mayor Stephanie Scott was appointed to his seat.
Three residents applied for the vacancy left by Friedenauer. They were Maidy, Andrew Gray and James Hart.
At a committee meeting, the majority of the assembly endorsed Hart. But that feeling changed after they found out that he wouldn’t be available to attend meetings in-person until August.
“I think it’s really important to have assembly people present at the table,” said Assemblywoman Scott, who was initially supportive of Hart’s candidacy. “I think that’s the best way we can resolve any differences we have. I’ve always thought the telephone communications with absent assembly members are tough.”
The assembly unanimously voted to appoint Maidy. He was seated immediately and participated in the rest of the three-hour meeting.
Maidy is a 35-year-old apartment complex manager who has lived in Haines about two years. He says he became interested in politics after the 2016 presidential election.
“Ever since coming in Haines, I never really cared about politics,” Maidy said. “My goal was to move into the woods with my friends and live the dream. And 2016 happened. Everyone in the world got involved in politics. I started paying attention to everything. I started paying attention to local – local is what matters, that’s where you see the change in your day-to-day life, immediately.”
Maidy says one of his priorities is to explore opportunities for renewable energy projects that could make Haines more economically stable.
“There’s a lot we can work on together,” Maidy said. “And ultimately that’s what we all want to do, we want to make this town better because we’re all living here. And there’s no reason for us to argue about how it needs to be done as long as we start moving forward and get things done.”
As an appointed member, Maidy’s term will be up this October, after the municipal election. But he says he does plan to run for office to try to retain a spot on the assembly.