UPDATE: After this paper went to print, the official results were posted at City Hall on Oct. 8. The outcome remained the same, with the Tidelands lease failing 383 to 167. Incumbent Mayor Mark Schaefer won 312 to 213 against Roger Griffin. Incumbent Steve Burnham Jr. was re-elected to the assembly with 333 votes. The second assembly seat went to Jay Burnham with 229 votes. David Brena received 187 votes and Mavis Irene Henricksen 95. John Hischer won the seat for School Board unopposed with 474 votes.
Four hundred and sixteen voters filed in to City Hall on Tuesday to cast their vote in the general municipal election. The polls saw over 100 extra voters from last year.
According to Tuesday’s preliminary results, incumbent Mayor Mark Schaefer will hold on to his title for another two years, leading in the polls with 258 votes over opponent Roger Griffin’s 140.
Preliminary results do not include 144 remaining absentee ballots, which were counted on Thursday after this paper went to print.
Schaefer said he was very happy to win and voiced his gratitude toward the voters.
“I appreciate the support from the community that I got,” he said.
Though Griffin did not win the election, he called himself a happy camper.
“The White Pass lease failed in a landslide vote, which was a victory for Skagway. Anything more would have been icing on the cake,” he said.
[quote-right] “The White Pass lease failed in a landslide vote, which was a victory for Skagway. Anything more would have been icing on the cake,” he said. [quote-right]
Assemblyman Steve Burnham Jr. will also retain his three-year seat on the assembly, taking the lead with 264 votes.
Burnham said he was flattered and humbled to know that voters once again entrusted him to represent the community as a member of the assembly.
“I have learned so much over the last three years, and it will be great to be able to represent the community with added experience,” he said.
For the next three years, he said he hopes to improve citizen and municipal communications by improving the municipal website and social media presence, increasing digital access to public information, and providing different outreach methods.
As for municipal projects, Burnham plans to focus on long-term housing prospects, and hopes to complete a plan for the 15-acre site east of the Dyea turn off, which currently includes plans for a recycling facility, public works, and an RV park.
“We can’t accomplish all of these ideas at once, nor should we,” he said. “We ought to create a needs based timeline to help responsibly phase in the development of this property.”
Jay Burnham ranked second highest in votes with 186, but write-in candidate David Brena followed closely behind with 148.
Write-in candidate Mavis Irene Henricksen received 64 votes.
“If I actually won, I feel great,” Burnham said. “I feel like I just got another big job, and I’m really looking forward to working on all of the different projects that are still out there.”
Burnham plans to focus his energies on the recreation center and the recycling center, as well as the mitigation of the ore basin.
“I’m big into the health and safety of the town. Getting the ore [basin] cleaned up is a big part of it,” he said.
Brena and Henricksen could not be reached for comment.
Running unopposed, incumbent John Hischer will retain his seat on the School Board, receiving 360 votes.
“I really enjoy working on the school board. It’s exciting that I will have three more years to work on it,” he said.
In the immediate future, Hischer hopes to find appropriate ways to spend federal funding from an increase in enrollment, possibly adding more staff where needed.
He also hopes to work with the municipality on the school’s vocational building and a possible future track.
With one seat on the board still vacant, Hischer plans to suggest that the board request letters of interest. From those letters, interviews will be given and a member will be appointed for a one-year term.
The board has 30 days to appoint a second member.
The canvass board met Thursday to review absentee ballots and give official results yesterday, after this paper went to print.