Then-candidates for Soldotna City Council Lisa Parker, Pamela Parker (center) and Dave Carey speak to members of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Sept. 11, 2019. Parker resigned her seat effective May 27. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Then-candidates for Soldotna City Council Lisa Parker, Pamela Parker (center) and Dave Carey speak to members of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Sept. 11, 2019. Parker resigned her seat effective May 27. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Sweeney, Hugarte apply for Soldotna council vacancy

Pamela Parker’s successor will be selected during the council’s Wednesday meeting.

The Soldotna City Council will select outgoing council member Pamela Parker’s successor when they convene for their regular council meeting on Wednesday. As of June 7, applications for the vacancy had been submitted by Gloria Sweeney and Erick Hugarte.

Parker announced her resignation from the council, effective May 27, last month. Because her family is moving outside of Soldotna City limits, Parker is no longer eligible to serve on the council.

In her application for the vacancy, Gloria Sweeney said she has been an Alaska resident for 47 years and that her family has been in Soldotna since 1979. Sweeney currently serves on the Soldotna Public Library Board and said she worked as a teacher for 30 years. In her letter of intent, Sweeney said her ties to the community and applicable experience are why she is interested in serving on the council.

“I am interested in serving on the City Council because I am a civic-minded and community engaged individual,” Sweeney wrote in her letter of intent. “I also have perspectives and relevant abilities that I feel could complement the talents of the current City Council.”

Erick Hugarte, who currently serves on the Soldotna Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and on the Planning and Zoning Commission, said that in pursuing the council’s vacant seat, he is looking for new opportunities to grow and challenge himself. According to his application, Hugarte has lived in Alaska since 2009 when he relocated with his family from El Paso, Texas.

“The bottom line is this: I love Alaska and I love the community of Soldotna,” Hugarte wrote in his letter of intent. “What I may lack in overall experience, I more than make up for it with my willingness to tackle any and all challenges with a decisive nature and practicality.”

According to a memo from Soldotna City Clerk Shellie Saner to the council, voting will take place after the council interviews the candidates. A successful candidate must receive at least three votes. The successful candidate must then be appointed to the seat and Saner will administer their oath.

Whoever is selected to replace Parker on the council will serve until the next municipal election on Oct. 5, 2021.

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

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