The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Elections for local offices coming Oct. 4--Web Exclusive

Candidates for council, school board ready for ballot


There will be many familiar names on the Valdez ballot Tuesday, October 4, when voters will be asked to elect three candidates to city council and three to the board of education.

Incumbents Dorothy Moore, Mike Wells and Karen Ables have each filed complete petitions to run for seats they currently hold on city council. The only candidate on the ballot to compete with the incumbents is himself a former council member, Rich Long.

Council positions are for two years.

There is a similar race for a seat on the board of education. Incumbents Dan Walker, Anita Fannin and Dawn Farmer have submitted complete petitions to run for seats they currently hold, while former board member Dolores Gard will be the sole candidate to run that is not currently in office.

School board seats are elected for three year terms.

Both Fannin and Farmer are appointees who were elected by the board itself to fill seats vacated early by formerly-elected board members who resigned before their terms expired.

There will be a single proposition on the ballot according to Sheri Pierce, city clerk and election official.

Proposition 1, if passed by voters, will amend the city charter in two ways.

Firstly, it will amend the city charter by eliminating conflicting rules – City Manager John Hozey called them guidelines - that are in the city charter and its code regarding the signing of city contracts.

Valdez Star photo

Three of the four candidates for board of education (from left) Dolores Gard, Dan Walker and Dawn Farmer, participated in last week’s “Meet the Candidates” forum at Valdez Council Chambers. Anita Fannin, not pictured, could not make it due to a family emergency. The four council candidates, Karen Ables, Rich Long, Dorothy Moore and Mike Wells all made it. The election for both council and school board is this Tuesday, October 4.

“Simply put, the Charter language was created in 1963 prior to having a City Manager function in the role he does today,” Pierce wrote in an email asking for clarification on the proposed amendment. “Therefore, the council looked at every contract and expenditure, they actually paid the bills in place of a finance department.”

The proposed change will still require the council to approve contracts that are above the city manager’s spending limits.

Secondly, Proposition 1 will allow city council to enter into contracts for longer than five years, which current law forbids. If passed, a “super majority” of six out of seven council votes will be required before a contract of more than five years duration can be signed.

“Currently the five year rule would obstruct the council from entering into - for instance - an agreement with the Oil producers on TAPS for a period exceeding five years,” Pierce wrote in an email asking for clarification on the proposed amendment. “This would be detrimental to the City in that we could only assure our financial stability for a period of five years without renegotiation. This would also come into play as a problem if we wanted to provide economic development incentives to a potential investor, where five years would probably not be as beneficial as ten.”

See you at the polls.


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