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


By CVN Staff 

Hess supporters, recall unreasonable


September 29, 2011

As Gary Hess stated in his comments to the assembly at the special meeting last June, "The duty of every public officer is to the people they serve and sometimes people lose sight of that."  

In this case it was clear that Karen Hess’ supporters – both on and off the assembly – lost sight of that in their unwillingness to consider any other name for the seat.  This left the assembly deadlocked, with no directions provided by either charter or code, as to what to do in that case.

What Hess’ supporters would not recognize is that there is no entitlement to that seat; just because someone comes in second in an election doesn’t mean they are automatically chosen if the winner is not able to be seated. 

Joanne Waterman’s proposal to turn to the voters in a special election was a reasonable solution to an untenable situation, for which no direction is stated in the code. A recall vote would indicate that considering the wishes of Haines voters is a criminal act.

A recall vote, particularly one that can’t hold the entire assembly responsible, is as unreasonable a response as a refusal to compromise on the part of the only two who cannot be recalled.

I strongly recommend a "no" vote for the recall.

Russell Bowman