December 5, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 48

Advisory committee election set Dec. 17

Four seats are up for grabs on the Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee when the group meets Dec. 17. The meeting starts 7 p.m. in the assembly chambers.

Two Haines seats – currently held by Dean Risley and Dave Werner – are open, and one Skagway seat – held by Luke Rauscher – also is available.

A designated Klukwan seat, which has long gone unfilled due to a lack of interest, also is expected to be filled at the meeting, said committee chair Tim McDonough.

“(Klukwan) also has its own advisory council, which is inactive, and recently there was an interest expressed, and it is my understanding someone will come to the meeting and hopefully be elected,” McDonough said.

The Haines Borough Assembly recommended the committee consider changing election procedures after last year’s elections drew 78 people, packed the room beyond capacity, and forced the creation of extra ballots, but the committee decided to keep the same procedure for this year’s elections.

Mayor Stephanie Scott called the December 2012 elections “strange,” and assembly member Debra Schnabel called them “not attractive,” because of the blatant lobbying for either “liberal” or “conservative” candidates.

Schnabel suggested the committee establish a separation of time between when nominations become public and when the public votes.

“It’s Alaska statute that describes how the election takes place,” McDonough said. “We have the authority to say there are nominations the week before, but we didn’t go that route.”

Committee member Risley, who has served since 2006 and also served in the 1990s, said he intends to run for the seat again, though he wouldn’t be crushed if he wasn’t reelected.

“I’d like to be on it, but if not, that’s fine, too. I’ll just go to the meetings and be one of the people on the other side,” Risley said.

Besides McDonough, Risley and Werner, the committee is composed of John Katzeek, Kip Kermoian, Julia Heinz, Randy Jackson and Skagway resident John Tronrud.