Kenai City Council incumbents Bob Molloy and Ryan Marquis were elected to fresh three-year terms on council, according to the municipal election preliminary results Tuesday night.
Of the 787 votes tallied, Molloy received 357, Marquis 290 and James Rowell 129. Absentee ballots are still pending, but all three candidates accepted the numbers with resolve.
Molloy, who will be beginning year eight on the council, said he is looking forward to serving the next three years.
“Boy, I’ve got to say, it’s really an honor to be re-elected by the voters of Kenai, and it’s going to be a privilege to serve for another three years,” he said.
Despite his more than 30-year presence in Kenai’s community, Molloy was surprised with his re-election.
“You never know how things are going to go, but I do know what our issues are, and I do know our city and a lot of its neighborhoods and businesses and residents,” he said.
During his campaign, he said he spent a lot of time “door to door” in neighborhoods, which kept him close to issues that were important to the city’s residents.
“I had a good dialogue with people,” he said, “and that was very encouraging.”
Molloy will work in council on the city’s management of dipnet fishery issues. It is a short term goal, he said, that the city will have to resolve; he said that was “loud and clear” from the people he spoke with.
A bigger picture issue, he said, is updating the city’s comprehensive plan.
“That was of significant concern of people in the neighborhoods who I was speaking with, who were looking forward to more public participation when the draft and the recommended plan comes to council,” he said.
He called the comprehensive plan a “guideline” for the city’s future.
Residents also want settle the conflict between the setnetters, dipnetters and sportfishers, he said.
“Again,” he said, “I’m really happy that (this) part is done and I can continue to do the job.”
He congratulated Marquis for his re-election and Rowell for running a good campaign.
Marquis, who was not surprised, was happy with the race.
“I thought this race was very respectful and honest, and I appreciate the other two candidates for running,” he said.
Marquis said his top priorities as council member are also the city’s dipnet fishery, the bluff stabilization project and “working to make sure people know that the city hall is a friendly place to get help.”
“Bob is a really hard campaigner,” he said. “He puts a lot of work into it, so I knew he would turn out the results. I’m happy to come in a very close second.
And Rowell, 46, is happy with his results.
“It looks like I came in a solid third,” he said. “There’s a lot of Olympic athletes that would have been proud to make that spot, so I can’t make myself out to be better than them.”
He said he couldn’t devote a lot of money to his campaign, and he didn’t want to spend very much time away from his family — so he went for the experience, and he was happy with it.
“Those guys (Molloy and Marquis) did a great job for the city in their past terms, and I’m sure they’re going to continue to do a great job for the city,” he said. “So no regrets at all, but, yeah, a little disappointed — but nothing to keep me from trying again next time.”
Rowell will remain on the city’s planning and zoning committee and maintain his political “armchair quarterback” role, and, next year, he is thinking of running for another political spot in Kenai.
“If I’m not mistaken, I think there’s a seat that’s coming up for election next year,” he said, “so I’ll likely throw my hat in the ring and see where it goes.”
In Soldotna, three candidates ran unopposed for three seats on the Soldotna City Council during Tuesday’s municipal election.
Dale Bagley, a real estate agent, will serve a three-year term on Seat C. Bagley was first elected to the Soldotna City Council in 1994, left to serve on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and was then re-elected to the Soldotna City Council in 2009.
John Czarnezki, a resource planner for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, will serve a three-year term on Seat A. Czarnezki will replace outgoing council member Nels Anderson. He has been on the city council since July when he took over for former council member Kyle Fisher.
Nancy Eoff won a one-year term on Seat E. Eoff has been on the City of Soldotna’s Airport Commission since 2008 and was previously a member of the city’s Memorial Park board.
Rashah McChesney contributed to this report.