May 23, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 20

Voting change in assembly plan

Your story about proposed changes to election procedures did not report that the issue was advanced by the entire assembly as a strategic action plan in February 2012. The action plan posted on the borough’s website at

http://www.hainesalaska.gov/boroughassembly/assemblystrategic-goals-2012-13 calls for an investigation into a new approach for election procedures before the October 2013 election.

It is not accurate to infer that I have an agenda different from that of the assembly, though I do believe that our

election process would be more democratic without designated seats. Because our planning document does not assign the work, I volunteered to do it, and with the mayor’s and clerk’s assistance got the proposed legislation on the May 14, 2013 agenda.

Designated seats should correlate to a specific population base, a precinct, neighborhood or district (refer to Bill Kurz’ letter to the editor April 22, 2012). Neither Haines Borough charter nor our code provide for election of representatives by designated seats except to provide for staggered terms. If the citizens of the borough want to designate and elect seats by precinct, a vote of the people would be required. To redesign the ballot to the current concept or areawide elections requires only a change in ordinance.

Thank you for allowing me to clarify my involvement in this issue and provide some facts.

Debra Schnabel