The city of Kenai opened its candidate filing period Thursday for the October elections, which have good reason to draw more voters than last year’s, City Clerk Sandra Modigh said.
In this year’s Oct. 1 elections, registered Kenai voters can select the city’s new mayor and review four ballot propositions. Two city council seats are also open for candidates.
Candidate deadline to file with the city clerk is 5 p.m. Aug. 15.
Candidates also must collect 20 valid city voter signatures and have a sworn statement to qualify for their respective position.
Filing and campaigning information is available until Aug. 15 in the clerks office and at the city’s website, www.ci.kenai.ak.us.
The clerk’s office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in City Hall, 210 Fidalgo Ave.
For mayor, both Pat Porter and Bob Molloy are running. Porter is the current mayor, having served almost nine years, and Molloy has been a city council member for almost eight years.
The four ballot propositions concern the city’s new comprehensive plan and charter code. Voters can decide in one proposition whether to repeal a city ordinance recommending the city’s recently completed comprehensive plan for Kenai Peninsula Borough approval. The other three concern semantic and “non controversial” charter amendments, Modigh said.
The two city council seats open are council members’ Terry Bookey and Brian Gabriel Sr.
Deadline for voter registration is Sept. 1. If residents have recently moved, switched their political affiliation, changed their name or believe an error was made regarding their precinct placement, they need to reregister to vote.
Absentee voting will begin Sept. 16. and is available through mail, email, fax an in person. More information can be found in the clerk’s office or on the city’s website.
Come elections, residents can vote at three polling sites — the Kenai Mall, Challenger Learning Center of Alaska and Kenai Senior Center. Polls open 7 a.m. and close 8 p.m. Election Day.
Voters who need help on election day can call the city clerk’s office, 907-283-8231.
In last year’s elections, 16 percent of the city’s registered voters voted, Modigh said. That was 810 residents out of 5,110, she said.
But Modigh is optimistic about this year’s elections. More is at stake.
“We’re hoping for a higher turn out this year,” she said.
Dan Schwartz can be reached at email@example.com.