Municipal Elections Taking Place Around Alaska Today

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau and Len Anderson, APRN – Anchorage

Municipal elections are taking place in communities across Alaska today.  The exception is Anchorage, which holds its election in April.

Besides filling local council, assembly, mayoral and school board seats, voters will decide various local propositions.   Among the ballot choices:

Petersburg votes whether to prohibit smoking in almost all public buildings and workplaces, including bars, shops and private clubs.  But not fishing boats.

Sitka, which already has a municipal smoking ban, will decides whether to extend it to bars and clubs.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough voters determine today whether they want to change their strong manager form of government for a strong mayor.

Shall the Kodiak city workers be allowed to unionize?  It’s a second appearance for the ballot measure, which resulted in rather hefty advertising bills – two unions reportedly spent $13,000 to lure a “yes” vote.  The city’s “no” campaign was around $17,000.

The city of North Pole has a recall measure to determine whether Mayor Doug Isaacson will finish his term.

Juneau voters decide whether to extend a temporary sales tax to pay for new causeway and bridge between Mendenhall Valley and recreation areas on North Douglas Island.

And the Fairbanks Northstar Borough has a ballot proposition that would prevent the borough from banning or fining residents for using polluting heating devices.  It’s aimed at an air quality ordinance passed by the assembly in June.

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