Petersburg area residents will decide whether to form a borough just before Christmas. Election Day is officially December 18th according to the State Division of Elections, which is administering the vote. However, it’s actually a mail-in election. Ballots will go out in the mail starting November 26th and voters have to return them in the mail no later than December 18th. According to the division, residents will also have the option to vote in-person absentee at Petersburg’s city offices starting December 3rd.
If voters approve, Petersburg’s city government would be dissolved and reformed as a borough government with expanded municipal boundaries as well as taxing and planning authority over a much larger area.
Voters within the proposed borough area will also elect a new Mayor, Borough Assembly, Planning Commission, School Board and Hospital Board. The wining candidates will take their seats if the public approves borough incorporation.
The new borough would include Petersburg’s home Island of Mitkof as well as Woewodski Island and a large portion of Kupreanof Island to the west. The boundaries also encompass the mainland territory from LeConte Bay to Holkham Bay. The small city of Kupreanof across the Wrangell narrows on Kupreanof Island would remain a municipality within the new borough.
To find out more about how the vote will be conducted, Matt Lichtenstein spoke with State Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai: