Petersburg Pilot -

Mayor to step down and other seats up for grabs


The local ballot is now set for the Petersburg elections. There is no contest for the City Council, for the second year in a row with one council seat with no candidates.

Petersburg Mayor Al Dwyer states he will not seek office again and may resign after this October's city election. Dwyer is half-way through his third two-year term as mayor.

He says he has no plans to run for mayor of the Petersburg Borough if the borough is voted in this fall or winter.

“This is going to be a contentious coming year,” Dwyer said. “I just don't have the energy to deal with the things that will need to be dealt with.”

Incumbents Nancy Strand and Susan Flint will run for another term but council member John Jensen will not seek re-election.

The Petersburg City Mayor and Council will be required to appoint an individual to fill Jensen’s seat after the October election. If the borough is voted in, this appointee will serve until then.

The Harbor Advisory Board has the only contested seat on this year’s ballot with two open seats and three candidates. Peter Schultz, who will be new to the board will run for this seat, as well as incumbents Bob Martin and Kurt Wohlhueter.

The remaining seats on this year's ballot will be uncontested. Two seats on the School Board will be filled by incumbent Sarah Holmgrain and new member Cheryl File barring any successful write-in candidates.

Rocio Tejera and Kris Norosz will serve in two of the three seats available on the hospital board. Incumbents Mary Ellen Anderson, Marilyn Menish-Meucci and Anne Hurt will fill out the three open spots on the Library board. Stan Hjort and Jim Engell will continue their service on the Public Safety Advisory Board, filling out the two available terms. Charles Martinez and Rocky Flint will continue on the Utility Board. They'll be joined by Tom Stearns which leaves one open seat on that board. Kathi Riemer will join incumbent Angel Worhatch on Parks and Recreation.

Altogether there are six seats with no candidates, including the council position and three of the four open seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Incumbent Otis Marsh will seek the one Planning Commission seat.

The major decisions for local voters this year will be for the ballot propositions.

Proposition one asks whether the city should withdraw from the Inter-island Ferry Authority, which abandoned the Petersburg service several years ago for lack of ridership. Proposition two would raise the sales tax exemption rate from $1,200 to $1,700 to help the city raise more revenue. Proposition three would approve the financing plan for the purchase of the Reid Marine Property that could benefit the harbor department and local fishing fleet. The plan includes using $250,000 from the Property Development Fund; $200,000 from the General Fund and $400,000 from the Economic Fund leaving up to $550,000 to finance over a fifteen year period, payable from increased harbor moorage and upland outdoor storage rates as provided in Ordinance #968.


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