Local News

Small Southeast Alaska communities have some new elected officials

Boat harbor in Pelican.

Boat harbor in Pelican.

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In small towns, big projects tend to directly impact community members. That inspires people to join the conversation.

In Pelican, for instance, four candidates ran for mayor. That’s unusual for a town with a population under 90.  Patricia Phillips, who won the seat, says infrastructure improvements attracted more candidates than usual.

“We’re at the tail end of some very big projects that were ten years in the making and there’s cost associated with the ongoing maintenance and repairs.”

Phillips says a new water treatment system will require a fixed cost structure. She hopes to develop new rates for the service.

“You know setting a fee structure in place that is really reasonable to those of us who live here year round, and then we have a large segment of the population that is seasonal. And so they have the expectation that when they come here they’re going to have running water and electricity and they need to pay their share of having a year round operating utility in terms of water and electricity.”

One community had seven open seats on city council. Port Alexander City Clerk Kelly Kimzey was in charge of the straws used to break a three-way tie for the seventh seat.

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen it before either. This is what our code says.”

Here are full election results from Pelican, Port Alexander, Tenakee, Kake, and Yakutat.

In Port Alexander, there were seven open seats for city council. Cory Gifford, Ryan Martin, Glenn Smith, Deborah Rose Gifford, Ryan Mulligan, and Bud Durtle will serve on the council. Jamie Cordova, Thomas Corso, and James Lang tied for the seventh seat. There will be a tie-breaker to pick the last spot. A ballot measure to allow alcohol to be sold in Port Alexander did not pass.

In Tenakee, two members were elected to city council: Steven W. Lewis and Paul Keithahn. The city also voted to sell a parcel of land in town for a minimum bid of $60,000. The mayoral and vice mayoral elections will be held on October 24th.

In Pelican, Patricia Phillips was re-elected mayor. Tom Andrews and Gerald Foss were elected to city council. Kyla Wescott was elected to the school board.

In Kake, there were two vacant three-year seats on both the city council and the school board. Renee Kadake and Michelle Friday ran unopposed for the school board seats. Marla Howard and Paul Rostad were elected to city council. They also ran unopposed.

In Yakutat three candidates were elected to serve on the borough assembly: Nick Holcomb, Nelson Inada, and Bob Miller. Each will serve two-year terms. Three candidates won school board seats. Victoria Yvonne Baker will serve for the one year remaining in a three-year term. David Fred Drumm and April Newlun will serve three-year terms on the school board.

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