Within the next month, there will be a new Haines Borough Assembly member. But they won’t have been elected by popular vote.
Assemblyman Mike Case abruptly resigned his seat at the end of a meeting Tuesday. Case said he resigned out of frustration with other assembly members for choosing Debra Schnabel over Brad Ryan as borough manager.
“I felt that with four people voting to put Debra in the position of manager, that represents a voting bloc that I probably would not break,” Case said. “And I’d be wasting my time if I stayed and tried to do it.”
Case’s three-year term on the assembly was set to expire later this year.
Mayor Jan Hill announced at a meeting Wednesday that his resignation would become effective May 1. Case did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
“If you see Mike Case wandering around town, I think he deserves all our thanks for his years of service,” said Hill.
Assembly vacancies must be filled within 30 days. The assembly agreed to solicit letters of interest with a deadline of May 15. Then, they would meet in a committee of the whole to review the applications. The new member would be appointed at the assembly meeting on May 30.
Whoever is chosen for the seat will step into Haines politics at a tumultuous time. Three assembly members are at risk of losing their positions as targets of a recall. With enough signatures, the recall effort could go to a special election in the next few months.
One resident has already announced interest in the seat. Andrew Gray is a civil engineer who moved to Haines a little under a year ago. He announced his bid for assembly on a Facebook page.
Whoever is appointed to Case’s seat would serve on the assembly for about four months, until the election in October.
The borough will start accepting letters of interest at the beginning of May.
This story has been updated.