City council incumbents reseated

Posted: Wednesday, October 04, 2000

Much to nobody's surprise, David Carey and Jim Stogsdill were re-elected to the Soldotna City Council Tuesday. Running unopposed, the pair received all but a handful of write-in votes.

Meanwhile in Kenai, both incumbents, Pat Porter and Bill Frazer, won re-election against challenger John "Ozzie" Osborne.

Both races were affected by low voter turnout. Soldotna saw only 392, or 14.14 percent, of its 2,773 registered voters go to the polls. Kenai was just a little better with 14.77 percent, or 705 of its 4,772 voters casting ballots.

Porter received 446 votes, or 41.3 percent, while Frazer had 392, or 36.3 percent. Osborne had 219 votes, or 20.3 percent.

For the second year in a row, Porter led the pack with the most votes.

"I guess everyone will be seeing me at council meetings for three more years," Porter said. "I feel great. I feel confident and excited that people want me to represent them."

Osborne said this latest loss in his string of attempts to be elected has not dampened his interest in serving on the council.

"It's pretty hard to beat a Kenai incumbent," he said. "I'll just keep after it."

Osborne, who served on the powerful Planning and Zoning Commission for six years, said he wouldn't mind serving on it, or other commissions, in the future.

Frazer was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

Soldotna's Carey said he feels great about being elected to a full three-year seat on the council but would have felt even better if there had been some competition.

"I hope I would win even with more people running," he said.

He said the electorate gets more ideas and better ordinances when there are more people running.

Carey, a government teacher at Skyview High School, wound up on the Soldotna City Council a year ago, when he threw his hat in the ring because of a lack of candidates running for the seat.

Carey took the opportunity of Election Day to bring his government classes to the polling place for them to watch -- and in two cases, participate in -- the process. Two of his students were old enough to vote, while several were old enough to be registered, even if their 18th birthday is months away.

In any case, Carey's students cheered the few people who did come in to vote on a slow election day.

"It's important to encourage everyone," he said.

Only 392 ballots were cast in Soldotna's two precincts. Carey received 320 votes, or 93.3 percent of the votes cast, while Stogsdill received 334, or 96.5 percent.

"Well, we're going to spend one more year with the status quo," Stogsdill said. "That can be good. There's some continuity that flows along with that."

He added that new blood on the council can be beneficial as well.

"You have to spend a certain amount of time educating them about where we are today and how we got there," he said. "It's always good to be able to go back and just bring yourself up to date on why we did things in the past year. When you don't have new faces, you miss that opportunity."

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