Filing deadline nears; seats attract few takers

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Several candidates are virtually guaranteed seats on city councils the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and the borough school board unless opponents file by the Wednesday deadlines.

And as of Monday afternoon, no one at all had filed for the assembly seat representing the area from Kasilof to Ninilchik and Happy Valley. Borough Clerk Linda Murphy said several people had picked up filing packets, including the incumbent, former legislator Paul Fischer of Kasilof, but none had filed by Monday afternoon. Fischer could not be reached for comment.

Murphy said no assembly seat has ever gone without candidates, and borough ordinances do not say how an assembly seat should be filled if no one runs for election.

"I'd assume that after the election, the assembly would appoint someone to serve for a year, and then, it would go back on the ballot to elect someone to fill the remainder of the (three-year) term," she said.

Borough ordinances do say that if an assembly seat becomes vacant, the assembly is to appoint someone to fill it.

"We put an ad in the paper, and people have to file as if they're running for office," Murphy said. "The assembly holds a meeting, the candidates make statements and the assembly asks the candidates questions."

Then, the assembly votes on who should fill the vacant seat, she said.

By Monday afternoon, Gary Superman was the only candidate filed for the three-year assembly seat representing Nikiski and Tyonek. The incumbent, Mark Powell of Nikiski, had not filed to run.

Incumbent Pete Sprague was the only candidate who had filed for the assembly seat representing Soldotna.

However, candidates often put off filing for office until the last minute, Murphy said. For the borough assembly and school board races, the deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Three school board seats are up for election.

Gene Dyson of Soldotna has filed to run against incumbent Deborah Germano of Homer, current school board president, for a three-year seat on the board. Barrett M. Fletcher of Homer has filed to run against incumbent Lorraine "Sammy" Crawford of Kenai, current school board vice president, for another three-year seat. By Monday afternoon, Sandra P. "Sandy" Wassilie of Seward was still running unopposed for a one-year seat on the board.

Numerous borough service area seats have failed to draw candidates, and by Monday afternoon, no service area seat had drawn more than one candidate. By Monday afternoon, there were:

No candidates for four seats on the Bear Creek Fire Service Area board.

No candidates for two seats on the Nikiski Senior Service Area board.

One candidate for two seats on the Anchor Point Fire Service Area board.

One candidate for four seats on the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area board.

Two candidates for four seats on the Central Peninsula Hospital Service Area board.

Three candidates for five seats on the Kachemak Emergency Service Area board.

Two candidates for three seats on the Central Peninsula Emergency Medical Service Area/Central Emergency Service Area board.

Four candidates for five seats on the Nikiski Fire Service Area board.

Two candidates for two seats on the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area board.

In Kenai city elections, incumbent Mayor John Williams is facing a challenge by council member Duane Bannock, though as of Monday afternoon, Bannock had not filed his paperwork. Randy Daly and John "Ozzie" Osborne have filed for a two-year city council seat formerly held by Bill Frazer, who has resigned. Amy Jackman has also announced a run for that seat, but has not returned her packet. Incumbents Jim Bookey and Joe Moore were the only candidates for two three-year seats on the council. Several other people had picked up the papers to file but had not yet returned them, said City Clerk Carol Freas.

To qualify for the Kenai ballot, each candidate must collect signatures from 20 registered Kenai voters, Freas said.

Kenai City Council candidates run at large. That means that all candidates for the three-year seats will run together, and the top two vote-getters will sit on the council. The deadline for candidates to turn in the 20 signatures is Wednesday at 5 p.m.

In Soldotna, candidates run for specific seats on the city council. City Clerk Pat Burdick said one two-year seat, now held by Mike Tarr, and two three-year seats, now held by Jane Stein and Steve Horn, are up for election. Burdick said Tarr and Horn are not expected to file for re-election.

Stein has filed for re-election to a three-year term in Seat D, and Fred Sturman has filed to run against her. By Monday afternoon, Roger Laber was the only candidate who had filed for Seat E, which also has a three-year term. Sharon Moock was the only candidate who had filed for Seat C, which has a two-year term. Both Moock and Laber have served previous terms on the city council. The deadline to file is Wednesday at 5 p.m.

In Homer, two three-year council seats will be on the ballot. As of Monday afternoon, the incumbents, John Fenske and Michael Yourkowski, had filed to retain their seats. Challenger Kevin Hogan also had filed.

The seats will be elected at-large, meaning the top two vote-getters will win.

Deputy City Clerk Deena Benson said she was unsure whether more people would file before the 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline.

"I haven't had a lot of calls. But people tend to come in at the last minute," she said.

Adjacent Kachemak City will have three council seats up for election, but its filing period does not open until Aug. 17, reported City Clerk Helyn Schoepke.

Seldovia, across the bay from Homer, is the peninsula's smallest incorporated community. It has two three-year council seats, now held by Keith Gain and Mike Webber, up for grabs.

City Treasurer Ronda Haynes reported that as of Monday afternoon nobody had filed. The filing period for the city of Seldovia runs through Sept. 7.

Seward voters will have a full slate to fill.

Mayor Edgar Blatchford has filed for re-election, said Seward City Clerk Patrick Reilly.

Three two-year council seats will be on the ballot, plus a one-year seat to fill out the term of Jerry King, who resigned to move out of state. The city council plans to appoint someone Aug. 20 to sit in King's seat until the October election.

Four people have picked up packets for the two-year seats. They are the incumbents Stu Clark, David Brossow and Nathan Orr. Reilly also expects a filing from challengers Mike Waun and Don Sutherland, who expressed interest in the one-year seat.

The deadline for the mayor's and two-year council seats are 5 p.m. Wednesday, but people interested in the one-year seat may file through Friday.

"Edgar is the only one who has actually filed. I have to call the rest of them tomorrow," Reilly said Monday.

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