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

Scott wins mayor's race by 47 votes; First meeting with new leaders Nov. 15


October 13, 2011

Haines Borough voters selected Stephanie Scott as their new Mayor, by a 47-vote margin, a canvass of outstanding ballots determined Tuesday.

She received 24 of 31 remaining absentee, questioned and personal representative ballots, capturing 52 percent of total votes cast.

"I’m just happy that there is some conclusion, so I can get to work," Scott said. "That’s been weighing on me, that I’ve had a list of things to do that I have not been able to begin, because the outcome wasn’t certain."

Her race against incumbent Jan Hill was too close to call as of last week. Following Tuesday’s election canvass, the final tally was Scott, 601, and Hill, 554.

"Of course, I’m very disappointed in the outcome," Hill said.

She said the results show "how divided our community really is." She said she was concerned that the assembly will become more liberal. "I’m concerned about the direction that the borough might go as a result of this election," Hill said.

Hill said she would consider some regional leadership opportunities after finishing her time as Mayor, and she plans to stay in Haines. She will chair the last Haines Borough Assembly meeting of her term on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Scott and elected assembly members will be sworn in on Monday, Oct. 31.

"I want to make sure that I use this interim period to work as closely as I possibly can with Mayor Hill, because she is a wealth of information and has initiated programs and has contacts that should not be lost," she said.

Scott said she will schedule a work session in early November for the new assembly, prior to that month’s Tuesday, Nov. 15, regular meeting. She said the close election with Hill means "I’m going to have to prove myself."

"There is a significant number of people in Haines whose confidence I have to court," Scott said.

The first assembly meeting with newly elected members has historically occurred in October, but has been pushed back for consideration of possible election challenges. Under recent revisions of code governing local elections, final results of the election won’t be certified until Oct. 25.

Canvass and certification had previously been held on the same day, and swearing-in was done at the following meeting.

Election officials did not read write-in votes for an open seat on the Haines Borough school board, due to the recent discovery that a letter of intent to the borough office previous to the election was required for reporting write-in votes.

"All we know is that 128 voters wrote something in," said borough clerk Julie Cozzi.

The borough said before the election that the seat could go to a write-in candidate receiving at least 40 percent of votes cast for the seat. The school board will seek letters of interest for the seat and make an appointment.

Official results, including absentee and questioned ballots, are as follows:

MayorStephanie Scott, 601; Jan Hill, 554; write-in, 6; Assembly seat C – Debra Schnabel, 645 (56 percent); Jerry Erny, 503; write-in, 4; Assembly seat E – Norm Smith, 670 (58 percent); Karen Hess, 490; write-in, 2; Assembly seat F – Jerry Lapp, 621 (54 percent); John Brower, 534; write-in, 1: school board seat C – Brian Clay, 905 (97 percent); write-in, 24; school board seat G – Anne Marie Palmieri 925 (99 percent); write-in, 13; Recall Joanne Waterman – No, 760 (67 percent); Yes, 379; Recall Daymond Hoffman – No, 771 (68 percent); Yes, 367.


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