Two file for open Soldotna council seat

Soldotna City Council will decide between two applicants Wednesday night to fill a vacant seat.

Residents Jordan Chilson and Justin Ruffridge have both submitted their applications for Seat F, left open by Keith Baxter’s resignation in March.

Ruffridge has been a resident for three years. He holds a doctorate degree in pharmacy and works as a pharmicist in the community. Annexation, retail space and natural resources are Ruffridge’s three biggest concerns. He said he also feels that the city could improve the downtown area and increase emphasis on the Kenai River.

Ruffridge was recently appointed to the city’s planning and zoning commission.

Chilson has been a resident of Soldotna for 1.5 years. He has an Associate of Applied Science in General Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration. He is currently working on his Masters of Public Administration. His top three concerns include annexation, diversifying municipal revenue and a decline in tourism. He also said he’s interested in collaborating with Kenai to explore a joint water and sewer infrastructure.

Chilson was recently appointed to the Soldotna Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and said he would like to continue fully supporting the Parks and Recreation department.

Candidate interviews are the first action item on the docket for Wednesday’s meeting.

The city council will interview the candidates before voting on who will fill the seat, said City Clerk Shellie Saner. The vote will be tallied via secret ballot.

“The selected candidate will take their oath of office and their seat on the dais to participate in the rest of the meeting,”

The selected candidate will serve a partial term, ending with the elections on Oct. 14.

Reach Kat Sorensen at

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