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


Mayor seeks vote option to fill vacancies


The Haines Borough Assembly is advancing a question toward the fall ballot that would give members the option of calling a special election to fill vacated assembly seats.

The assembly last week introduced an ordinance that would amend the borough charter to allow special elections for filling vacancies. Amending the charter would require a vote of the people at the municipal election on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

Mayor Stephanie Scott recommended the ordinance.

“It adds an option; it doesn’t require a special election,” Scott wrote in a memo this month. “In practice, there may be very few circumstances a decision to hold a special election will make the most sense. But the earlier in a term a vacancy occurs, the greater the need to consider election versus appointment.”

The first public hearing for the ordinance has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 29. At that meeting, the assembly also will consider adopting an ordinance that calls for a simple majority vote of remaining members when filling assembly vacancies by appointment. The appointment procedure is included in the borough code, not charter, so a public vote is not necessary to approve the change.