By DAN FOX
Results from the Oct. 3 election have been approved by the Borough Assembly, bringing in several change-ups to the municipal government and Skagway School Board.
Write-in candidate Monica Carlson won the seat of Borough Mayor, receiving 288 votes – 65 votes over incumbent Mayor Mark Schaefer (223 votes).
Carlson said she is humbled by the outcome of the election, as well as surprised.
“As a write-in, it’s a difficult thing to do,” Carlson said.
As she assumes the mayoral seat, Carlson said her top priorities are to look at dealing with the current memorandum of understanding between the municipality and the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, managing the budget and looking into affordable housing solutions.
David Brena (311 votes) and Dan Henry (174 votes) were at the head of the pack for the two open Borough Assembly seats.
Philip Clark was the next closest candidate with 169 votes.
Denise Sager and Heather Rodig had the most votes in the race for the two open Skagway School Board seats, with Sager receiving 328, and Rodig getting 330 votes.
At an Oct. 5 meeting, Election Board Chair Barb Brodersen gave a brief report to the assembly on the board’s process on election day. Polls closed at 8 p.m. on Oct. 3, and the board began to hand-count the ballots.
Brodersen said the preliminary tally was finally reached just after midnight on Oct. 4.
As she concluded her wrap-up of the process and results, Brodersen said a few comments as a member of the public, congratulating the new candidates and addressed the outgoing assembly member and mayor with a thank-you.
“A very special thank-you to each of you who served the city so well,” Brodersen said. “They could not pay me enough to sit at that table.”
The end of the Oct. 5 assembly meeting was full of such statements thanking outgoing Assembly Member Spencer Morgan and Mayor Schaefer for their service to the community.
A combination of serious sentiment and light-hearted banter filled the tail end of the meeting.
Assembly Member Jay Burnham told Schaefer he was “the best mayor I’ve ever served under.”
“And the only,” Schaefer pointed out, as other assembly members laughed.
“I think you’ve done a wonderful job,” Jay Burnham continued.
Assembly Member Steve Burnham Jr. said Schaefer has done many great things for the community that people “will never even realize.”
“So you deserve every applause you get and more,” Steve Burnham said. “I’d like to thank Spencer also. Even though you were done last year, you weathered the storm for a whole other year.”