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

Bill Johnson for Alaska House

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Meet the Candidates forum set for this Saturday at council chambers

Elections for mayor, school board and city council will be held this Tuesday, May 1

 

April 25, 2018



Voters in Valdez will go to the polls this Tuesday to elect a new mayor, three council members and two school board members.

This Saturday, there will be a Meet the Candidates forum at the city council chambers where voters can get to know candidates and ask questions about where they stand on issues facing Valdez according to organizer Steven Weber.

School board candidates will be in the spotlight from 5-6 p.m. This election cycle, three candidates are vying for two three-year terms on the board of education. Incumbents Kathy Todd and Dolores Gard are running with newcomer Joe Lally to set policy for Valdez City Schools.

City council candidates will be highlighted from 6-7:30 p.m. Mayoral candidates are slated to appear from 8-9 p.m. – with a break – which includes a snack – penciled in between council and mayor candidates for a half hour, from 7:30-8 p.m.

The group also has an active Facebook page and some candidates and voters have been actively asking and answering questions online.

There are two three-year terms up for election, and one two-year term.

Candidate Sherikay Griffith is challenging incumbent Chris Moulton for the lone two-year term that is available this cycle.

The race to fill two three-year terms on city council is a little more crowded.

Incumbent Dennis Fleming is running to hold on to the seat he currently holds, and will face off against several newcomers Derek Morris, James Devens, Ron Ruff, Sue Ellen Montes and Bob Engebretson.

Council member Nate Smith, who is serving out a third term, is not running to retain his seat.

Ironically, the race for mayor could create a vacancy on city council.

Council members Jim Shirrell and Darren Reese are competing against each other and newcomer Jeremy O'Neil for a chance at becoming the next mayor of Valdez.

The current mayor, Ruth Knight, is not running for a second term.

The sitting council members running for mayor will be required to resign their council seats if they win the election. Shirrell's council seat does not expire until 2019. Reese's term is not up until the year 2020.

There are no ballot propositions on this year's municipal ballot.

Sample ballots with the names of the candidate and the seat and length of the term is published on page 5 of this week's edition of the Valdez Star.

Absentee voting by mail, fax, proxy and in person at city hall has been open since mid-April.

Valdez Star photo

In Alaska, campaign signs are required by law to state who or what entity paid to advertise a candidate's name during elections.

"The request for an absentee ballot by mail must be made on a City of Valdez provided form, which includes your Valdez address, the address to which the ballot is to be sent, and your signature," the clerk's office says on its website. "It is advisable to apply for your absentee by mail ballot at least 4 weeks prior to the election to ensure the voted ballot reaches the City Clerk's office before May 1, 2018."

Voting by fax or email also requires voters to also contact the clerk's office for special instructions.

Delegating another person to vote for you is available in certain circumstances. A qualified elector unable to go to the polls due to age, serious illness, or disability may either request an absentee ballot by mail, or apply for an absentee ballot through a personal representative.

Absentee voting in person is also available according to the clerk's office. The polls are open Monday through Friday during regular business hours at city hall. The last day a person can vote absentee in person is Monday, April 30.

 

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