Phyllis Hackett was first elected to the Sitka Assembly in 2008.

Phyllis Hackett was first elected to the Sitka Assembly in 2008.

The Sitka Assembly last night (12-23-14) formally accepted the resignation of fellow member Phyllis Hackett.

Hackett submitted a letter to the municipal clerk on December 19, citing personal matters that left her “unable to devote the attention and dedication my position on the Assembly deserves.”

With nearly three full terms to her credit, Hackett is one of the longest-serving members of the assembly. Reach by phone prior to last night’s meeting, Hackett expressed mixed feelings about stepping down.

“People say, Oh it’s so thankless. But truthfully, I’ve never found that. I’ve had a lot of thanks, and I’ve had a lot of personal gain as far as learning how to listen a little better, and being a little stronger in saying no more often. But I think it’s been really good, though I would never say it’s been fun.”

Hackett was first elected to the assembly in 2008, when she says there were gaps in communication between the assembly, city hall, and the public. She thinks the assembly has developed into a strong functioning body now. And she’d like more citizens to become involved.

“I think there needs to be more work on the commissions, to help people understand how important that role is, that public arm. That’s more of what has guided me, or been of interest to me, is just trying to get people to work together for the greater good.”

Hackett was out of state visiting family during Tuesday’s meeting. The assembly nevertheless praised her in her absence. This is Mayor Mim McConnell.

“She brought so much passion to her job here, and worked hard, and did her homework, and always asked good questions, and set a good example about how to be a good assembly member. And I’ll miss her up here at the table a lot.”

The assembly agreed to accept letters of interest from candidates to fill the vacancy. They’ll make an appointment at a special meeting on Friday January 2nd at 6 PM. The appointee will serve until the next regular municipal election in October.

The assembly can appoint any qualified candidate who is a registered voter in Sitka, and who has resided here for one year.