The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Hugarte appointed to Soldotna City Council

He has served on Soldotna’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Erick Hugarte will fill a vacancy on the Soldotna City Council following a vote in support of his appointment to the seat by the council during their Wednesday meeting.

Hugarte replaces Pamela Parker, who announced last month that she would be resigning from the council at the end of May. He has a GED from Kenai Peninsula College and has served on Soldotna’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

In pursuing the council vacancy, Hugarte cited the impact the City of Soldotna had on him after he relocated from El Paso, Texas.

“I was never happy until I came up here,” Hugarte said. “When I came to Soldotna I found my happiness.”

Hugarte said he was unhappy and involved with gangs when he lived in El Paso and now wants to give back to the community where he found happiness.

“When I was younger, in my gang days, I created an ocean of evil,” Hugarte said. “I feel that I have to clear that ocean up by doing good.”

Hugarte has experience with Soldotna city government, but said the four months between now and October will give him the opportunity to learn how the council operates. Hugarte will serve the remainder of Parker’s term, or until this October, when he may run for a full three-year term during Soldotna’s municipal election.

Hugarte used his closing comments to thank the council for his appointment and to say he never thought he would be able to do something like serving on the council.

“Thank you for letting me work for you for these four months and I pray that I will do the best job that I can,” Hugarte said.

The council also interviewed Gloria Sweeney, a former teacher with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District who currently serves on Soldotna’s Library Advisory Board. Sweeney said that she “couldn’t really say at this moment” whether or not she would run for a full three-year term to the council in October.

The council cast their votes on who they thought should be appointed to the seat after both interviews were conducted. Hugarte received four votes, while Sweeney received one. An oath of office was administered to Hugarte and he took his seat during the meeting.

Both interviews can be viewed on Soldotna’s website at

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Branden Bornemann, executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the forum on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A voice for this river’

Forum reflects on 25 years protecting peninsula watershed

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

Most Read