Story last updated at 12:24 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2002

Deadline passes with council vacancies unfilled

Happenings in Seldovia

Chris Bernard
The filing period for the Seldovia city elections closed Aug. 30. Three council seats are open, with two three-year seats and one one-year seat.

Steve Lewis, who was recently appointed to fill the remaining time on an empty seat, has filed for one of the three-year seats, as has Walter McInnes, an incumbent. Dan Hecks is the only candidate to file for the one-year seat.

The mayoral seat is also open, and current mayor Sue Hecks has decided not to run again. Former mayor Gerald Willard has filed for the seat.

Council members Keith Gain, George Oliveira and Chris Wheeler will retain their seats. Susan Springer, whose term is expiring, will not seek re-election.

The election is scheduled for Oct. 1.

At last week's city council meeting, councilmembers voted overwhelmingly to make both the police deputy position and the harbor master position full-time in the summer and part-time in the winter, said City Manager Ken Weaver. At the prior meeting, the council voted to terminate the police department's clerical position.

"The positions will both be three months in the summer, and then nine months in the winter, with the winter months being 20 hours a week," Weaver said. "We'll be advertising for the police officer position."

Councilmembers also voted in favor of a motion to terminate routine patrols by the Police Department outside Seldovia's city limits.

"The officers will only respond to emergency calls now," Weaver said. "That leaves some interpretation about what patrols are, and it doesn't preclude me from having them set up radar checks and things like that."

"I think it's ludicrous," said Police Chief Andy Anderson. "The message they're sending is that there's going to be no police in that area. I foresee more accidents, and it's putting that whole area in jeopardy.

"I have no clerical help," he said. "I have a three-quarter time position that I don't know if I'll be able to fill. Who wants to do this position part-time in the winter, full-time in the summer? They've really hamstrung us."

Chris Bernard is a reporter for the Homer News. Items for this report can be e-mailed to him at cbernard@homernews.com

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