Soldotna City Council members are pictured on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at Soldotna City Hall in Soldotna, Alaska. The council voted to postpone a resolution that would authorize the city manager to submit a petition to annex to the state’s Local Boundary Commission. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Council members are pictured on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at Soldotna City Hall in Soldotna, Alaska. The council voted to postpone a resolution that would authorize the city manager to submit a petition to annex to the state’s Local Boundary Commission. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna to see new council members, mayor

Soldotna residents should expect changes to their city council in the coming months.

Tyson Cox, a current member on the Soldotna City Council, offered his resignation to the council, effective Oct. 14. Cox is the unofficial winner of the district four assembly seat. When he is declared the official winning candidate, Cox will pivot from the council to the assembly.

Cox’s move to the assembly leaves an opening on the council, which the council plans to address and declare at their Oct. 10 meeting.

Within 30 days after declaring the council spot vacant, remaining members will appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next regularly scheduled election, which will take place Oct. 6, 2020. At that election, the spot will be placed on the ballot, with a term ending October 2023.

The new council member could be appointed as soon as Nov. 13.

During this week’s elections, Lisa Parker won her reelection as a council member. The unofficial winner of the other vacant seat on this year’s ballot is Dave Carey, who has served on the city’s council and as the city’s mayor in the past.

The city is also gearing up for a special election Dec. 17 to find a new mayor.

After the Sept. 10 death of Mayor John Nels Anderson, the city council declared the mayor’s seat vacant. At their Sept. 26 they called a special election to elect a new mayor in December.

Anderson’s term as mayor would have ended after the 2020 October election.

Since the vacancy in office occurred more than six months before a regular election, a special election to fill the unexpired term is required. Whoever is elected at the special election will serve until October 2020.

Soldotna voters have until Nov. 17 to register or update their voter registration.

Absentee voting will begin at Soldotna City Hall Dec. 2, and the regular election day will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17.

For residents’ interested in filling the vacancy, the candidate filing period begins at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9 and closes at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Candidates must be a resident of the city for at least a year, a U.S. citizen and a qualified voter of the city. To run, candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and a public officials financial disclosure statement. All candidates must also file the required campaign disclosure statements with Alaska Public Offices Commission. More information on these requirements can be found on Soldotna.org or by contacting Soldotna city clerk, 907-2629107.

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