Incumbent ousted in village corporation election

Posted: Friday, June 02, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- Incumbent Joe Kahklen finished fourth among 11 candidates for three seats on the Goldbelt Inc. board of directors, the corporation announced Wednesday.

Walter E. Johns Jr., a former employee of Sealaska and the Tlingit-Haida Central Council, finished third and won the seat. Incumbents Andrea Cadiente-Laiti and Kathy Polk retained their seats in the shareholder vote.

Johns, 60, is a Christian missionary who has been on the road for much of the past decade. He recently returned to Juneau after splitting time between homes in Lincoln, Neb., and Denver.

A former director of the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, Johns also has been an administrator in the manpower office of Tlingit-Haida.

Johns said after the election that he wants a change in Goldbelt's business strategy and more diversity.

Johns said restoring the shareholder dividends are his No. 1 priority. Goldbelt stopped paying the semiannual dividends last fall in the wake of a cruise ship accident that cost the company millions of dollars in lost revenue and unexpected expense.

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