Voters elected one incumbent and one newcomer to the Petersburg borough assembly this month.
Retired U.S. Forest Service employee Bob Lynn wins another three-year term. He’s been on the borough assembly since 2013, with the exception of 2017 when he lost a reelection bid.
This year he campaigned on the theme of fixing local public buildings like the swimming pool and in support of the ballot proposition to overhaul the hydroelectric plant at Blind Slough. Lynn said he’s humbled by the support of voters and looks forward to continue working on those and other local projects.
“You look at the national level and look at the infrastructure bill that probably will pass that if we can get our ducks in a line and the work done we need I think we have a chance of picking up what I consider some of the projects that we really would like to have or want to have done that would benefit our community so I would really like to see work done on that,” Lynn said.
At the state level, Lynn anticipates Alaska looking into a statewide sales tax which could impact the local tax collected by the borough.
“If they continue to reduce the amount of revenues coming to the borough that’s going to put a burden on us trying to figure out how to keep, without any kind of a tax raise or so for, about how to keep things on track and provide the services that folks want,” Lynn said.
He’s also a board member of the Southeast Alaska Power Agency and he’s the assembly liaison to the hospital board. He had the most votes for borough assembly seats in this year’s election.
New to the assembly is attorney and musician Tom Fine-Walsh who came in second in the eight-person race for two seats.
“I’m really pleased to see how many people voted,” Walsh said. “I was pleased to see how many people voted absentee, really great turnout. So it’s great to see so many people invested in politics in Petersburg. And I was pleased to see the support of the community. It’s an incredible honor.”
Fine-Walsh campaigned on his experience as an attorney. He and Lynn beat six others seeking those seats, the most crowded field in recent memory.
Petersburg’s borough assembly Friday finalized the results of the local election, counting an additional twelve mailed or electronic absentee ballots.
Those added to the totals of most of the candidates but did not change the outcome in any of the contested races.
Borough clerk Debbie Thompson reported on a high number of absentee voting by electronic submission this year.
“The total absentee voters that returned ballots is 494, two of those were questioned and the total of that number of 492, the total via electronic submission is 53, which is pretty high, yeah so it’s neat,” Thompson told the assembly.
The votes of five people were questioned and were not counted for not being registered in time for this election or in the correct place.
The final turnout was 1,224 people or just over 41 percent, with more than a third of that from early absentee voting.
The assembly voted 5-0 to accept the results. Bob Lynn and mayor Mark Jensen were not at the meeting. It was the last meeting for assembly member Taylor Norhiem and vice mayor Jeigh Stanton Gregor thanked him for his service on the assembly.