A bouquet of flowers honors outgoing Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship at her work station on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A bouquet of flowers honors outgoing Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship at her work station on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Borough staff, assembly members honor outgoing clerk

Johni Blankenship began working in the borough clerk’s office in 1999

Longtime Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship was recognized during Tuesday’s borough assembly meeting by assembly members and borough employees for her decades of service to the borough.

Starting next month, Blankenship will begin working as the city clerk for the City of Soldotna, where she has spent most of her time since moving to Alaska in 1968; she is a 1985 graduate of Soldotna High School.

Blankenship, who began working for the borough clerk’s office in 1999, is responsible for running the borough’s municipal elections and meetings, as well as interfacing with the public and other borough employees. Before serving as borough clerk, Blankenship served as an administrative assistant and deputy borough clerk at the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Blankenship, in 2016, was named “Clerk of the Year” by the Alaska Association of Municipal, of which she has been an active member during her time at the borough. That achievement was further commended by a subsequent resolution passed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. She was also named “Municipal Employee of the Year” in 2013 by the Alaska Municipal League.

Effective Dec. 1, Blankenship will be the new city clerk at the City of Soldotna.

That position was formerly held by Shellie Saner, who left Soldotna to become the city clerk for the City of Kenai. According to an action agenda from an Oct. 26 special meeting of the Soldotna City Council, council members voted unanimously to forego interview and extend Blankenship a conditional offer.

Blankenship’s role in administering borough elections and helpfulness to other borough employees were among the attributes highlighted during Tuesday’s assembly meeting.

“Johni hired me three months after she took over the role of the borough clerk and I’ve been with her ever since,” said Deputy Clerk Michele Turner. “She has been a leading example in the clerk world by leaps and bounds and I’m proud to have been the one that she tucked under her wing.”

“There are many contributions that Johni has made to the operation of the borough and I think one of the most significant ones that requires a huge chunk of her time is administering our elections and guaranteeing election integrity for our local elections,” said assembly member Lane Chesley. “Johni has done such due diligence to help us have good and fair and accurate elections and I just can’t emphasize enough the integrity that she has brought to our entire election system here at the borough.”

Tuesday’s meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly can be found on the borough’s website at legistar.kpb.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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