WEEKEND HANGOUT – Gina Lusher, foreground right, and other Sitka Cirque aerialists rehearse Thursday night for this weekend’s show, Cirque Noir, at the 207 Smith Street studio. The show includes cage dancers, live music and champagne. Kids from first grade through high school will have a separate fundraiser showcase event Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tickets for both shows are available online at sitkacirque.com. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

City Election Open for In-Person Absentee Voting


Sentinel Staff Writer

Absentee in-person voting opened Monday for the October 4 municipal election, and will continue 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at Harrigan Centennial Hall through October 3, the city clerk’s office said Sunday.

On the ballot are three candidates for mayor, five candidates for two seats on the Assembly, and two candidates for three openings on the School Board.

There are also two ballot propositions, one on placing a special sales tax on marijuana to fund school activities; and the second on funding for a new boat haulout with a draw from the city permanent fund.

The city clerk has issued two notices about absentee in-person voting and other options for casting an ballots prior to election day, and on election day itself.

Absentee ballots can be cast by mail or fax if the request is received in the city clerk’s office at 100 Lincoln Street by Tuesday, September 27. The online link for the request is https://www.cityofsitka.com/election-information.


Running for a two-year term as mayor are Steven Eisenbeisz, Kevin Mosher and Valorie Nelson. Eisenbeisz is the current mayor, Mosher is presently a member of the Assembly and Nelson has served as mayor in the past.

The five candidates for the two three-year Assembly seats are Ryan Matthew Herbert, Kris Chinalski, Thor Christianson, Chris Ystad and Richard Jan Wein. The two positions currently are held by Christianson, whose term is up, and Kevin Knox, who did not seek re-election. Voters may select up to two candidates for Assembly, and the two with the highest number of votes will be elected.

In the contest for School Board, Tristan Guevin and Mitch Mork, who were appointed to vacancies in June, are running unopposed.

The ballot has two sides. On the back are two ballot propositions.

Ballot Questions

Ballot Proposition 1 asks whether voters want to exempt retail marijuana sales from the regular city sales tax, and replace it with a special sales tax on marijuana with proceeds dedicated to school activities and associated travel. If approved, the tax would start at 6 percent on January 1, 2023, and go up to 8 percent in 2024 and later years.

The regular city sales tax is 5 percent from October through March, and 6 percent from April through September.

Kevin Mosher, Rebecca Himschoot and Kevin Knox were co-sponsors of the ordinance to place the proposition on the ballot. The expected revenue is $210,000 the first year, and $280,000 when the tax is 8 percent. The exemption from the regular city sales tax means a $195,000 loss to the general fund.

Ballot Proposition 2 asks whether voters want to spend up to $8.18 million – the net proceeds the city received from the sale of the Sitka Community Hospital properties – on construction of a haulout and shipyard at Gary Paxton Industrial Park.

The city explored a number of private and government funding possibilities for building a community boat haulout without success. Christianson and Mosher volunteered to explore new options with city staff, and they made the proposal to use the hospital sale proceeds for the project. The Assembly voted in July to put the proposition before voters in an election.

In 2014, the engineering firm PND was hired to estimate the cost of building a haulout, and gave a figure of $7.5 million for a Travelift and associated site and upland improvements, a washdown pad and waste water treatment. GPIP director Garry White said that adjusted for inflation the figure would be closer to $10 million to $12 million today.

“There’s a whole lot that needs to be figured out – that’s why the first step would be engineering and planning, with a public process,” White said.

The list of options and deadlines for absentee voting may be reached though cityofsitka.com under the “October 4 Municipal Election Information,” or by calling the city clerk at 907-747-1811.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






December 2003

The Sawmill Cove Industrial Park board of directors endorsed a final contract tuesday for the city to sell a minimum of 40 million gallons of reservoir water per year to an export company based in New York City. ... under the contract Quest would have the right to purchase up to 1 billion gallons of water per year at 1 cent per gallon



December 1973

 The City and Borough of Sitka conducted a community public opinion poll evaluating municipal services and facilities. ... The overall results gave this priority order: 1. roads and highways; 2. water and sewer; 3. downtown parking; 4. garbage collection and disposal; 5. hospital and medical facilities; 6. planning and zoning; 7. boat harbors.


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