During a four-minute special meeting Monday night, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted unanimously to change the by-mail special Charter Commission election to an in-person election.
In mid-September, the Assembly voted to start the process of creating a home-rule charter for the borough. That process, which has nothing to do with consolidation, begins with the election of a seven-member charter commission.
The election was to be conducted by mail, but the borough would have had to order materials for that mail-in election before the final deadline for charter commission candidates to file. That deadline is Nov. 4.
At least seven people must file for the election to take place in mid-December.
During Monday’s meeting, Assembly Member Judith McQuerry says that while she’s voting for the change to an in-person election, she hopes that not enough candidates file, and the borough can save the expense of a special election.
“I continue to hear from members of the public that this is a goofy, goofy idea and we don’t want to do it,” she said.
If the election does take place, voters would pick who they want on the commission, and would vote on whether they want a home-rule charter at all. Those who favor a charter say it would maximize self-governance for the citizens of the borough.
The resolution changing the election to an in-person vote passed 6-0. Assembly Member John Harrington was absent and Assembly Member Stephen Bradford participated by phone.