Knackstedt, Navarre retain council seats

Kenai city council incumbents Henry Knackstedt and Tim Navarre will retain their seats for a further three year term, while challenger Bob McIntosh said he plans to continue his political activity and may make another council run next year.

With absentee ballots still to be counted Tuesday night, Knackstedt was the top vote-getter with 327 votes, while Navarre followed with 290 and McIntosh with 194.

After several years as a Kenai airport and planning and zoning commissioner, Knackstedt won his first council term in 2014. He said he “had a lot more encouragment this time around than the previous time.”

“I’ve been here all my life, but as far as being on council I was the newcomer,” Knackstedt said. “A lot of people may have known the name, but they didn’t know who I was or what I was really for. This time around, I was clearly a known quantity and people felt a lot more comfortable about who I was and what I’m doing.”

Navarre is another long-time council member, entering his third term with this election. McIntosh has never held public office, but ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2016, winning 258 votes in that year’s five-way race. Though Kenai candidates don’t compete directly against one another — the two top vote-getters win the two council seats that open each year — McIntosh campaigned with the goal of unseating Navarre. In one of Kenai’s three voting precincts — precinct two — he trailed Navarre by five votes.

McIntosh said that precinct 2 — the area of Kenai north of Beaver Loop Road and east of Main Street Loop — is an area where he worked with a neighborhood watch organization, and it’s also the location of Lawton Acres, where a long-running land dispute between prospective developers and residents who wish to preserve a local city-owned woods and meadow flared up again this year in city council meetings. In that argument, McIntosh gave public comment in favor of preserving the property, while Navarre voted against preservation measures introduced by council member Mike Boyle.

Navarre said he also campaigned in the neighborhoods bordering Lawton Acres.

“I talked to some of the people in the Rogers Road area, and there were some that were angry, and others that understood what we were doing all along — that there has to be compromises sometimes on issues that divide, especially when you’re dealing with an issue with airport land,” Navarre said. “I think peoples’ vote didn’t reflect an anti-status quo, and I think we have a really good council who listens.”

McIntosh said he may run again, but his future political plans are up in the air.

“When I look back on things, I think I really am having an effect,” McIntosh said. “The reason I want to be on council is to accomplish some things related to open government. … Will I run next year? It depends — and this is for every election — on who else is running. If I can support a couple of people, and if I think they have a better chance of winning, I won’t run against them. I can accomplish things by being on the council, but if I have people I can work with on the council I think I could accomplish more by not being on it.”

Reach Ben Boettger at benjamin.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Brad Snowden and Julie Crites participate in a Seward City Council candidate forum at the Seward Community Library in Seward on Thursday.
Seward council candidates discuss issues at election forum

Participating in Thursday’s forum were Julie Crites and Brad Snowden

Cam Choy, associate professor of art at Kenai Peninsula College, works on a salmon sculpture in collaboration with the Kenai Watershed Forum during the Kenai River Festival at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on June 8, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Soldotna adopts arts and culture master plan

The plan outlines how the city plans to support arts and culture over the next 10 years

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at the Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats return Wednesday

The chats will cover a range of interesting topics, centered on knowledge, research and projects

Erosion of the Kenai bluff near the Kenai Senior Center. (Photo by Aidan Curtin courtesy Scott Curtin)
Kenai to sign bluff stabilization agreement Monday

A signing event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Kenai Senior Center

Engineer Lake Cabin can be seen in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 21, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Public comment accepted for proposed rate increases for overnight fees at refuge

Campsites would increase $5 per night and cabins would increase $10 per night

Abigal Craig, youth winner of the Seventh Annual Kenai Silver Salmon Derby, is presented a novelty check by Kenai River Sportfishing Association Executive Director Shannon Martin, City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel, and Kenai Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Samantha Springer at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Silver Salmon Derby nets fish, funds for river protection

116 fish were weighed by 79 anglers across the six days of competition

Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis talks about the Soldotna field house project during a Soldotna City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna awards field house contract

Anchorage-based Criterion General, Inc. will construct the facility

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly during a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to let borough mayors speak sooner during meetings

The mayor’s report will now be given after the first round of public comments and before public hearings and new assembly business

Assembly members Lane Chesley, left, and Richard Derkevorkian participate in a borough assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Haara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly asks state to allow term limits for school board members

Alaska Statute does not allow term limits to be imposed on school board members

Most Read