Andrew Cremata was sworn in as mayor March 25 after a close election. He wanted to keep the event low-key, with only his wife, the borough clerk and members of the news media in attendance.

The race against Dave Hunz brought out 454 voters, marking the highest turnout for a special election since August 2011, when 476 voters cast ballots on a referendum for controlling second-hand smoke.

Cremata defeated Hunz 238-216 in the March 19 election. The winner said he was happy the election focused on the positives of each candidate.

“That’s one thing I wanted to maintain in this campaign, and I think Hunz did as well, is not to have anything negative, or anything that could be even interpreted as negative about the other person,” Cremata said.

With each candidate having different visions for the future of Skagway, it came down to what voters wanted to see for the borough, he said.

The new mayor is now looking toward where to start with issues in Skagway and how he can best assist the community and the assembly. One of the first issues he wants to address is the port.

“We want our port clean and I think that was a big deciding factor for a lot of people,” Cremata said.

He is also hoping to get a parade going in the next week to honor the women’s Gold Medal basketball team, which just brought home Skagway’s first championship in 46 years.

Cremata will serve until the next regular election in October. The special election was held to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Monica Carlson, who died Dec. 19 after she was hit by a bus while walking in Washington, D.C. Her mother, Cora Louise Adams, was also killed in the accident.

The new mayor said he wants to bring urgent issues forward and bring the assembly together.

“Ultimately, the assembly makes the decisions, but we have to work together as a body and I think they’ve done a lot more work than people realize,” Cremata said. “I hope I can facilitate more progress and cooperation at the table.”

He wants to hear from community members during his planned office hours: 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays at city hall.

“I’m available and open to everyone and I have a listening ear,” Cremata said. “I’m more than happy to listen and work with you.”

“We want our port clean and I think that was a big deciding factor for a lot of people,” Cremata said.

One of the first acts Cremata put in place is a parade for the women’s Gold Medal team. The parade is scheduled for Friday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m.

Being an interim mayor, with the next official election in October, Cremata is hoping to bring the urgent issues forward and bring the assembly together.

“Ultimately, the assembly makes the decisions, but we have to work together as a body and I think they’ve done a lot more work than people realize,” Cremata said. “I hope I can facilitate more progress and cooperation at the table,”

Cremata is hoping to be open and hear from community regularly during his planned office hours.