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

 
 

By CVN Staff 

Set assembly seats by area districts

 

October 20, 2011



I take issue with three points in last week’s editorial. I believe it’s time to go a very different direction than what you advocate. First, let’s consider regional seating, including an upper valley assembly seat, a Lutak seat and Mud Bay seat. The current assembly, overall, has no strong stake in outlying portions of the borough. Until we specify seats by geographic areas, disenfranchisement is possible due to the voting mass within the townsite.

Second, I was pleased by this year’s field of candidates, with an actual choice for each assembly seat. Too often there is no choice for one seat or more. Having three ‘races’ in this election was interesting, thought-provoking – democracy in action. Your suggestion harkens back to the 1801 national election, wherein Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson tied. Back then second place for president became vice-president. The nation learned, and later changed the election process for vice-president. Don’t take us back 200 years: I don’t want assembly members chosen by being second-best.

Finally, it seems presumptuous, after just one extended election season, that we shorten it. Having a longer term between declaration of candidacy and election is good for voters. More time means more research by residents (and press), more chances to obtain a vote-by-mail ballot or a ride to the polls, more time to get to know candidates/issues.

I want our local government to reflect the largest representative cross-section, include the greatest possible choices, and offer an adequate amount of time for the voters.

John Hunt