Ketchikan and Sitka voters go to the polls

Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Voters in Ketchikan backed an advisory ballot measure on building a bridge to Gravina Island and rejected one to do away with term limits for local officials.

And in Sitka, incumbent Mayor Valorie Nelson trailed challenger Fred Reeder by 141 votes with 313 absentee and questioned ballots still out.

Municipal elections in Southeast Alaska ended Tuesday with voters electing a new Ketchikan Gateway Borough mayor.

Mike Salazar received 2,358 votes for the post, beating two other challengers. Incumbent assembly members George Lybrand and Mike Sallee lost in an eight-way race for three open seats. Lybrand finished fifth and Sallee was sixth.

Current borough Mayor Jack Shay, whose term ends this year, and David Landis received the most votes for two of the seats. The third race had George Tipton leading Colleen Scanlon 1,497-1,485.

In the Ketchikan municipal elections, Marty West White, Jim Van Horn and Steve Williams, and Robert Norton won election to the city council. Incumbent Mike Harpold was ousted in a six-way race for three open seats.

Sitka Mayor Valorie Nelson told KCAW-FM in Sitka that her stance on some local issues may have alienated people. Sitka voters also approved an advisory question to give pay raises to new assembly members but rejected a measure to allow city employees to enter collective bargaining.

Marty Bettis and Bill Paden were elected to the assembly. Incumbents Keith Perkins and Lawrence Blood did not seek re-election.

Ketchikan voters rejected an advisory ballot measure to ban using public land to build a bridge to Gravina Island. The vote was 2,589-1,336.

Voters there also overruled a Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly ordinance approved in March to lift the current term limits on assembly members and mayors. The vote was 3,123-752 for that binding ballot measure.

Borough mayor and assembly members are barred from serving more than two consecutive terms under the current ordinance.

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