Abell Challenges Selby for Borough Mayor

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Jay Barrett/KMXT

The two men vying for the office of Kodiak Island Borough mayor are both familiar names who’ve served in office for many years. Incumbent Jerome Selby has been mayor a total of 21 years – most of them as a paid, "strong" mayor that actually ran the borough’s day-to-day business. Challenger Tom Abell served 12 straight years on the borough assembly before choosing not to seek re-election two years ago. Both were on a special Thursday Talk of the Rock with Jay Barrett.

Selby says he’s running to keep building the quality of life for borough residents, while Abell says he will bring a new perspective to the job.

(Mayor 1 1:21 "I’m committed to … than Mayor Selby did.")

The pair were involved in a year-long controversy over attendance rules, which spawned a citizen’s lawsuit against the assembly, mayor and borough, and then a secondary suit where three assemblymembers, including Abell, sued the borough to recoup legal fees. Both agreed it could have been handled differently:

(Mayor 2 1:18 "They’re lawyer looked at it … it didn’t accomplish a thing.")

They contrasted their respective styles; first Selby, then Abell:

(Mayor 3 1:04 "I don’t believe in being … is a whole different world.")

A listener called into the show, asking if anything can be done to increase interaction with citizens during meetings:

(Mayor 4 1:26 "I am just a regular community … sometimes we do that.")

Municipal Elections day is tomorrow (Tuesday). Besides voting on borough mayor, there are two assembly, one school board and several service area board seats on the ballot.

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