Editor, Valdez Star 

Time to file to run for city office begins next week

Elections for mayor, council and school board will be on May 3


Source: City of Valdez

Information from the city clerk's office on the 2016 municipal elections.

If you have ever considered running for public office, now is the time to prepare for the big race.

The time frame to petition the city clerk's office to have your name on the ballot for the May 3 elections begins next Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The seat for mayor, plus three council seats and three slots on the board of education will be up for election.

Terms for mayor and city council are for two years. Board of education terms are for three years.

To have your name on the ballot, candidates must appear in person at the city clerk's office during regular business hours to take out a petition between Feb. 16 and March 15, at 5 p.m.

The petitions must be returned to the clerk's office before the March 15 deadline. To run for city council or the board of education, the potential candidate must have the signatures of 25 registered voters from Valdez. A person, can, run for both council and board of education at the same time, which would be a large task. To run for mayor, 50 signatures are required.

Candidates must be registered to vote in Valdez and have legally resided within the city limits for at least one year prior to be eligible to run for city office.

There will also be three propositions on the spring ballot.

There will also be a ballot measure that - if passed - would increase the council and mayor terms to three years.

Raising the property tax exemption on primary residences to $50,000 is also on the ballot. The current exemption is $20,000. Passing the ballot measure will result in a lower tax bill for the homes that people actually own and reside in.

There will also be a non-binding advisory vote - called a referendum - where voters will be asked whether or not council members and the mayor should receive a stipend for attending regular council meeting.

This is strictly an advisory voter, meaning the city council is not bound to follow the results of the vote, whether it passes or not.

"The voters need to understand that their vote is not binding and does not restrict the council from adopting any future ordinance authorizing a stipend," the city clerk said in an email last month. "The council does choose to find out what the public opinion is on this topic, so has requested an "advisory" vote which equates to a formal public opinion poll."

In order to cast a valid ballot, voters must be registered in Valdez with the state election board no later than 30 days before the election.

Source: City of Valdez

The seats for elected office that will be open in the upcoming elections.


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