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

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Elections will be May instead of October this year

Seats for city council and board of education up for the popular vote


Valdez Star file photo

Valdez voters will hit the polls in May instead of October for the municipal elections.

People in Valdez are usually thinking about fishing poles when the month of May rolls around, but this year, civic minded people in Valdez might also be thinking about municipal elections when the polls open May 5.

The Valdez City Council changed the dates for its municipal elections from fall to spring so that new members of the city council and board of education will be able get more experience as elected officials before being tasked with tackling complex city and education budgets.

For the first time, the city clerk's office, which is responsible for holding elections, posted its first notice of elections in February instead of July.

There will be three seats available on city council and two for the board of education.

Residents interested in running for spots on either (or both) governing bodies can pick up nominating petitions for the election from the city clerk's office beginning February 17 according to the notice, published on page 10 of this edition of the Valdez Star.

Petitions to run for elected office must be picked up in person at the city clerk's office. For a candidate's name to appear on the municipal ballot, a hopeful needs to return the petition to the clerk's office with the signatures of 25 qualified voters.

Requirements to become a candidate are minimal. A person must be registered to vote and have lived in Valdez for at least one year prior to the election.

Valdez Star file photo

Election officials counting questioned and absentee ballots a day after last fall's municipal elections.

Petitions to file for office and additional information are available at the clerk's office at city hall during regular business hours for the May 5 elections.

Voters must be registered to vote at least 30 prior to the election to cast a valid ballot. The residency requirement to vote is the election is also 30 days.

Terms for city council will be 15 months instead of the usual two years because of the changes in when the elections are held. Terms for school board will be for 22 months instead of three years.

Council members Mike Wells, Ruth Knight and Dennis Fleming currently hold seats that are expiring. On the board of education side, Dr. Kathy Todd and Dolores Gard's terms are up. All candidates are eligible for reelection but it was unknown at press time whether or not any of the current office holders will seek reelection.


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