Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Eleven seek assembly seat


June 9, 2011

Eleven people applied for an interim appointment to fill Greg Goodman’s vacated Haines Borough Assembly seat.

John Brower, Dave Canipe, Debora Gordon, Jono Greene, Gary Hess, Karen Hess, Wayne Hirsch, Jon Hirsh, Brad Maynard, JoAnn Ross Cunningham and Norm Smith submitted letters of interest by Wednesday’s deadline.

Assembly members are set to make the appointment at a special meeting 6 p.m. Monday in the assembly chambers. The appointee will serve until the October municipal election, when the winner for that seat will earn a term through October 2013.

Goodman vacated the seat last month after Karen Hess won an appeal in Juneau Superior Court that ruled he did not meet borough residency requirements at the time of his election to the assembly.

Maynard, the borough’s facilities director, sent an e-mail to borough clerk Julie Cozzi on Wednesday expressing interest in the seat. Maynard submitted his borough resignation this week and said he’s "ready to look at other options." He will leave his facilities director position at the end of June.

Hess in her letter of interest cited getting more than 40 percent of the votes in her campaign as a write-in candidate against Goodman.

Smith, whom Goodman replaced on the assembly last October, referred to his experience during almost a decade on the Haines City Council and Haines Borough Assembly.

Brower attached a resume and wrote he has "much experience in the public sector, whether it has been through employment, volunteer service on community boards and nonprofits, and governance," and he is the tribal administrator for the Chilkat Indian Village.

Canipe in his letter asked to be considered for the assembly position and did not list his qualifications.

Gordon, a former planning commissioner, resides in Excursion Inlet and wrote her appointment could ease the "sense of exclusion" some of her neighbors have about the assembly.

Greene called himself a "centrist" looking for compromise.

"My vision is that ‘we the people’ are very similar in our needs and wants but the squeaky wheels on the fringes, right and left, get the most air time, and this polarizes compromise and thereby stymies vital progress," he wrote.

Gary Hess wrote about his leadership on a bald eagle advisory board, Chilkoot Corridor bear advisory group and as chairman of the Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee.

Wayne Hirsch wrote he is "interested in being part of the decisions made for the future" and "would be an informed and conscientious member of the assembly regarding all matters."

Jon Hirsh wrote of his time as a geologist, wilderness guide and carpenter and said he wants to be involved in the "decision-making process of growth and development" in the borough.

Ross Cunningham wrote travel plans would prevent her from running for the assembly seat in October, "but this summer and early fall I’m available to serve as needed."

In support of her appointment, Ross Cunningham wrote she serves on library and community foundation boards, is a hosting coordinator for AFS Intercultural Programs, a high school student exchange organization, and taught for the Haines Borough School District.

"I would hope to offer a thoughtful, balanced, respectful approach," she wrote.