July 18, 2012 | Vol. 24 Edition 29

Mayor will run for second term he says

Two of three sitting council members are on the fence

Dave Cobb said he will run for a second term as Valdez mayor in the upcoming October elections, but two of three council members whose current terms are expiring are still undecided on whether or not they will seek reelection.

Valdez Star photo
Valdez mayor Dave Cobb during Monday night’s regular council meeting. Cobb will be running for a second term in the 2012 Valdez elections.

Only council member Steve McCann has firmly made up his mind on the issue.

A firm “No,” was his answer when he was questioned on the matter before Monday night’s regular council meeting.

McCann and his wife, Paula, are planning to become snowbirds – spending winters in the Lower 48 and summers in Alaska.

Council members Joe Prax and Alan Sorum are riding the fence.

“I guess I have not decided yet,” Prax reluctantly said when asked.

Prax is currently serving his third two-year term on the Valdez City Council.

Fellow council member Alan Sorum said “I don’t know.”

Sorum is still in his first two-year term as a council member.

As of Monday – the first day nomination petitions were available - no council or school board incumbents or hopefuls had picked up a nomination packet according the Sheri Pierce, the city clerk and election official of Valdez.

Thinking of running for a seat on the city council or school board?

It is a fairly simple process to become a candidate and the criteria needed to be eligible to run for elected office are minimal according to Pierce.

To be eligible to run for public office in Valdez, a hopeful must have lived in Valdez for one year and be registered to vote. The official language of the city charter defines the requirement that a candidate be a registered voter as “a qualified elector.”

If qualified, hopefuls must appear in person – no mailing, faxing or electronic communications for this requirement - and pick up a nomination packet in person from the clerk’s office located at city hall, then return the completed petitions in the packet before the close of business at 5 p.m. August, 17.

In order to be on the ballot for city council or school board for the October 2, election, the petitions must contain the signatures of 25 registered Valdez voters. Mayoral candidates must return petitions with 50 qualified signatures.

In addition to electing council and school board members, there will be a single proposition on the ballot, asking voters to approve or scratch a bond that will fund a new middle school.

Current members of the board of education for Valdez City Schools with expiring terms had not yet been contacted and asked if they intend to run for reelection.

Board members Dr. Kathy Todd and Dave Lawrence currently hold seats that expire this election cycle.

There are also important dates to consider if you want to vote in any of the three elections slated in 2012. To vote in any Alaska election, you must have lived in the state for at least 30 days and then been registered to vote for at least 30 days prior to elections. To vote in a Valdez election, you must also live in Valdez and not be registered to vote anywhere else.

The primary vote for elected state office is August 28. Voters must be registered by July 29 to vote in this election. Valdez elections for mayor, city council and school board are October 2 and voters must be registered by September 2. The general election – including the vote for the office of President of the United States – is set for November 6 and has the same 30-day registration requirement.

Absentee voting for the August primary will open later next month and information will be made available closer to election time.

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