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By Dan Rudy 

Prop measures affirmed, incumbents appear re-elected


After Tuesday's polls closed, unofficial results for Wrangell's regular municipal elections were in. Three-hundred twenty-six votes were cast at the Nolan Center, slightly more than the 312 cast last year.

Several seats were in contest this year, and on the ballot were two ballot propositions to draw voters.

Incumbents David Powell and Becky Rooney both appear to have won reelection to three-year seats on the City and Borough Assembly. Challenger Christie Jamieson ran a write-in campaign, but the number of write-in votes tallied for the positions appear to put her out of the running; 105 were counted, against Powell's 238 and Rooney's 249.

Whose name is written on each ballot and how many times will become clear when the Canvas Board meets today in City Hall at 1 p.m. for the official hand-count. The proceedings are open to the public, and results will head to the Assembly for review and certification at a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

Three candidates also vied for two three-year seats on the Wrangell School Board. Tuesday's preliminary count had incumbent members Aleisha Mollen and Tamara Groshong with the highest numbers of votes, at 220 and 213. Rolland Howell was narrowly behind with 178 votes.

Candidates Beth Comstock and Pam McCloskey contested an unexpired one-year term on the School Board. McCloskey came away with 250 votes, to Comstock's 70, making her election apparent. One write-in vote was registered in the electronic tally.

Port Commission incumbents John Martin and Clay Hammer ran unopposed for two three-year seats. Hammer received 298 votes and Martin 290, with two write-ins.

On the Wrangell Medical Center Board, Woody Wilson and Maxlyn Wiederspohn also ran unopposed for re-election to two open seats. Wiederspohn was last month appointed by the mayor to fill an unexpired vacancy. She received 298 votes Tuesday, and Wilson received 280. Two write-ins were also registered.

Unofficial results show yes votes on Proposition 2 – exempting city officials from financial disclosure requirements under state statute – narrowly edging the votes against, 167 votes to 145. Whether the proposition passed or not is still too close to call until absentee ballots have been accounted for.

Proposition 1 – a housekeeping measure removing reference to the Thomas Bay Power Authority from the Home Rule Charter – was approved by 204 votes to 75.

More voters showed up in 2015 compared to last year, which saw few contested seats and no controversial measures. Conversely, a proposal to reduce sales taxes drew more than 620 voters in 2013, or 47 percent of the electorate. In 2012, 607 votes were cast for a mayoral election, compared to 315 the year before, and another well-participated year in 2010 with 570.

Following this year's election, a number of board- and commission-level appointments will need to be made. These include two seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission, two seats on the Parks and Recreation Board, one seat on the Wrangell Convention and Visitors Bureau, three seats on the Economic Development Committee and two seats on the Nolan Museum/Civic Center Board.

Persons interested in serving on any of these boards or committees should submit a letter of interest to the Borough Clerk’s office at City Hall. The office’s mailing address is P.O. Box 531, Wrangell, AK 99929.

Election Results (Uncertified)

Assembly Seat

(Two seats, three-year term)

David Powell: 238

Rebecca Rooney: 249

Christie Jamieson: 105 write-in votes

Port Commission

(Three-year term)

Clay Hammer: 298

Port Commission

(Three-year term)

John Martin: 290

School Board

(Two seats, three-year terms)

Aleisha Mollen: 220

Tamara Groshong: 213

Rolland Howell: 178

School Board

(One-year unexpired term)

Pamella McCloskey: 250

Beth Comstock: 70

Hosptial Board

(Two four-year terms)

Maxlyn Wiederspohn: 298

Woody Wilson: 280

Proposition No. 1

(Remove TBPA reference from Charter)

Yes – 204

No – 145

Proposition No. 2

(Exempt officials from state

financial disclosure rules)

Yes – 167

No – 145


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