Local elections are just around the corner
Ballot preparations underway according to city clerk’s office
Anyone eyeing a seat on the city council or board of education in the October 1 elections must begin the process soon according to Sheri Pierce, city clerk of Valdez.
“Petitions to run for city council and school board will be available to the clerk’s office July 15,” Peirce said a week ago Monday during the regular council meeting.
The window for potential candidates to complete the process mandated to have one’s name on the ballot is only open for 30 days.
There are three open seats for city council that are for two-year terms and two open seats for three-year terms on for the board of education.
Council seats currently held by Mike Wells, Karen Ables and Dorothy Moore are expiring; the two seats up for election on school board are currently held by Toni Balowski and Steve Brockman.
Neither Brockman or Balowski returned messages to the newspaper regarding the upcoming election.
On the council side, only Ables said she would definitely run again.
“Yes,” she said, “It would be my pleasure.”
Moore was unsure.
“I haven’t decided yet,” she said Tuesday morning.
Wells was also non-committal but said he would pick up a petition before making a final decision.
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 and pick up a nomination packet in person from the clerk’s office located at city hall; completed petitions from the packet must be returned to the clerk’s office before the close of business at 5 p.m. August, 15. No mailing, faxing or electronic communications are allowed when picking up or turning in petitions.
In order to be on the ballot for city council or school board election, the potential candidate’s petition must contain the signatures of 25 registered Valdez voters.
Last year, only two candidates ran for the two open seats on the board of education, but three open seats on the city council attracted a field of nine candidates.
There are also important dates to consider if you want to vote in the 2013 municipal elections. 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 the Valdez election, you must also live in Valdez and not be registered to vote anywhere else.
There are no state or federal elections for Valdez voting districts this year, though numerous potential candidates for US Congress and Alaska governor have already declared intentions to run in the 2014 election cycle.
A public forum to meet, greet and question candidates for council and school board has already been set for the evening of September 18. The event, which will take place at the city council’s chambers, will be hosted by the Valdez Star and Tony Gorman.