The terms for Haines assembly members Sean Maidy and Tresham Gregg end this October. Maidy is seeking re-election. Gregg will not.
KHNS spoke with Maidy to learn more about the candidate and his approach to local governance.
Sean Maidy has been living in Alaska since 2009. He said he first fell in love with Haines after meeting resident John Norton while managing Alaska Knifeworks in Juneau.
He moved to Haines in 2015 and got involved in local politics shortly thereafter. At first, he thought Haines would be a place to get away from the drama and divisiveness he had seen in the lower-48. He was wrong.
“I saw that it just had the same political issues as anywhere else in the country or world,” Maidy said. “I decided I had time. I was able to make time to attend meetings. I didn’t have any special interest groups or cliques or anybody whose side I preferred over another. I just had my standard decision-making skills and my non-partisan approach and I gave the assembly a shot.”
Maidy was first appointed to the assembly in June of 2017 to replace Margaret Friedenauer after she resigned. Then in October he successfully ran to serve the remainder of her term.
When asked how the assembly could improve, Maidy said decisions are often made based on the impressions that groups of residents have of a certain issue rather than facts. He said he aims to make decisions based on the best information available rather than what some residents are asking for.
“I’m willing to make the best decision based off of the most information that I have at the time, and it’s never going to be towards one side or the other. No matter which side it seems to favor, if it does the most good for the most people, that’s how I’m going to decide,” Maidy said.
Maidy is particularly concerned with the question of police service outside of the townsite.
In 2017, the Alaska State Troopers removed its blue shirt officer who patrolled outside of town. Now the assembly has passed an ordinance that makes way for on-call police service for residents out the Haines Highway, Lutak Road, and Mud Bay Road. Voters living within the affected areas will decide on the proposal during the general election this October.
Recently, the assembly amended the on-call police service proposal based on suggestions from Mosquito Lake residents. Although the amendments made sense to him, Maidy worries other residents who would be affected by the proposal might not agree with the changes.
“People in the other two service areas, Lutak and Mud Bay, I know that they were split,” Maidy said. “It should have gone to a vote on the ordinance that was already established. Then whoever voted, ‘No, I don’t want this level of service,’ then we come up with a new ordinance based on a closer level of service that they would like and put that up to a vote.”
Elections for the Haines Borough Assembly take place October 2.
KHNS and the Chilkat Valley News are hosting a candidate forum on September 18 at 6 p.m. in the Chilkat Center. Questions for assembly candidates can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.