Wrangell Sentinel -


Election results certified


Brian O’Connor

Bernie Massin takes the oath of office Monday evening at special assembly meeting certifying the election results. Massin and Terri Henson were each elected to a four-year term on the hospital board.

The borough assembly certified the results of the Oct. 1 election on Monday.

The official results presented by borough clerk Kim Lane to the council are identical to informal results announced after the polls closed Oct. 1, except they include absentee vote totals as well.

New members of the assembly include Julie Decker – who ran unopposed for Seat E and has served by appointment on the assembly since her appointment in September – and Daniel Blake, who ran unopposed for Seat F’s three-year term. Decker and Blake were sworn in to office immediately after the assembly vote certifying the election.

Blake named the ongoing debate over the future and present of the Thomas Bay Power Authority, as well as the selection of a new borough manager as the issues of the utmost importance.

“The first one is picking a new city manager,” he said. “We have an executive session planned Thursday to whittle that down a little further.”

Blake hadn’t yet formed an opinion on debate over TBPA and the Southeast Alaska Power Agency, though he said he had spent time recently researching it.

“I knew it was an issue that was going to be coming up soon, so I’ve been doing a lot of research,” he said. “I’m trying to keep an open mind as much as possible right now, until we have all the facts.”

Blake, a veteran and Transportation Safety Administration employee at the airport, accumulated experience as a veteran for both the Air Force and the Army, and previously worked with the Tennessee highway department in a budgeting capacity.

Familiar faces include sitting assembly member Maxlyn Wiederspohn – elected over now-former board member Ernie Christian by 164 votes — and Borough Mayor David Jack – elected over Kipha Valvoda by 381 votes.

Christian said his defeat might have been in part because of his association with an unpopular sales tax proposal. The proposal — which faced a highly visible opposition campaign led by members of the community, including some from the Chamber of Commerce — would have lowered the borough’s municipal sales tax rate to 5.5 percent from its current state-highest 7 percent, was soundly defeated by a more than two-to-one margin.

Christian authored the proposal, received 53 more votes than it did.

Those 53 voters “like me more than they like the proposal,” he joked, the day after the election

In the end, the results show voters endorsed business as usual, Christian said.

“They (voters) chose to do the status quo,” he said.

David Silva and John Yeager were elected without opposition to three-year terms on the port commission. Rinda Howell was re-elected and Cynthia Waddington was elected to the three-year terms on the school board. Terri Henson and Bernie Massin were elected to four-year terms on the Hospital board.

Voter turnout reached 47 percent, according to borough clerk Kim Lane.

Jack thanked voters for their service.

“It could be 100 percent … but we’ll strive for that later,” he said.

Election Results (Certified)

Borough Mayor

(One Year Term)

David L Jack


Kipha Valvoda


Assembly Seat B

(One Year Term)

Ernest Christian


Maxlyn J. Wiederspohn


Billie Younce


Assembly Seat E

Julie Decker

(Three-year Term)


Assembly Seat F

Daniel Blake

(Three-year Term)


Port Commission

(Two Year Term)

John M. Martin


Port Commission

(Two three-year terms)

David W. Silva


John Yeager


School Board

(Two Seats,

Three Year Terms)

Rinda K. Howell


Cynthia Waddington


Hospital Board

(Two Four-Year Terms)

Terri Henson


Bernie Massin


Proposition No. #1

(Lower the Sales Tax

to 5.5%)

Yes 172

No 451


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