By Melinda Munson

Assemblymember and vice-mayor Steve Burnham Jr. sent a letter of resignation to the Skagway Borough Assembly on June 11. He was not in attendance at the June 17 meeting, one of several absences in the past few months.

Burnham’s goodbye letter was brief.

“At an end my time on assembly is, and not short enough was it. Effective upon acceptance by assembly,” it said.

Burnham, a fan of Star Wars and Yoda, was known for strictly following protocol. He served as chair of the Finance Committee during the COVID-19 pandemic while the municipality agonized over dividing approximately $7 million in CARES funding across the borough.

Burnahm gave no reason for his resignation. He could not be reached for comment.

According to municipality code, only the assembly votes for vacant assembly seats, with the mayor having no say. Three interested parties submitted letters of intent: Dan Henry, Christy Murphy and Deb Potter. 

Potter spoke at Citizens Present, indicating that Burnham wanted her to replace him.

The assembly will consider the vacancy at their next meeting on July 1. 

Assemblymember Jay Burnham, currently chair of Parks and Recreation, was named finance chair. Assemblymember Reba Hylton was appointed to the Finance Committee. Hylton, who chairs the Health, Education and Welfare Committee, promised to “do her best to do her best.” Previous to her new assignment, Hylton has been attending all the finance meetings by phone. 

At the close of the meeting, assembly members paid homage to Steve Burnham who served on the assembly for nearly nine years.

Assemblymember Orion Hanson described Steve Burnham as “one of the most ethical people I’ve served with, tremendous attention to detail.”

Jay Burnham (in one of his trademark t-shirts) spread his usual levity.

“He (Steve) did so much more behind the scenes, the hours and hours with the clerk with the manager … And that was an awesome resignation letter. I might have a shirt made up.”