After 25 years as the Kodiak Island Borough Mayor, Jerome Selby beat the gavel on his last borough assembly meeting.
During last night’s meeting, Selby took the opportunity to point out a few differences between what the borough looked like when he first entered the office in 1983 and now.
“In 1983 I was elected mayor for the first time under a manager form of government. In 1985 the voters changed that to a mayoral form of government. I served in that role until 1998 when I took a sabbatical. But during those 15 years I and the assembly dealt with 526 ordinances and 865 resolutions that developed and implemented public policy for the Kodiak Island Borough, and we became what you see today in terms of the borough. When I was first on the assembly, we didn’t have a finance officer, no finance director, we had one planning director, we had two people in the clerk’s office and a manager in 1980 when I was on the assembly.”
Many members of the public commented on Selby’s departure, including former resident Mark Buckley, who called in to the meeting from out of state.
“Yes I’m just calling from Seattle and I want to say thank you very much to Jerome Selby for his 25 years of great service to Kodiak. I think Kodiak has been well served by having Jerome on the borough assembly and as mayor for so long. I know I was on the hospital board for many years there in Kodiak and I was involved with KMXT and Jerome was a stellar presence, not just in Kodiak but around the whole state. We were extraordinarily fortunate in Kodiak to have Jerome as our mayor and I want to say thank you very much Jerome for your great service to the community.”
During his final borough mayor comments, Selby thanked the community for their support during the last two and a half decades. His statements were met with a standing ovation from the more than two dozen folks that filled the assembly chambers.
“But I do want to thank all the people who helped me along the way. Both staff folks and citizens. Sometimes they came up out of the blue with some really great ideas and saved the day in affect and so I really do appreciate involvement in community. But I would urge the community to stay involved. Somebody earlier mentioned the low voting turn out and that is a concern. We need to have folks stay engaged, and stay involved and vote and be involved. And with may god bless the people of the Kodiak Island Borough, I wish you all well. Applause.”
Last night was also Assemblywoman Louise Stutes last meeting. She was presented with a plaque for her service by Selby.
“For leadership and outstanding service to the Kodiak Island Borough by Louise Stutes, Assemblymember, October 2007 through October 2013. Thank you very much for all your hard work, we really appreciate it. Thank you. Applause.”
Many community and assembly members also thanked Stutes for her six years of service.
Replacing Stutes will be Frank Peterson, who was sworn into office alongside Carol Austerman last night. The borough’s new mayor, Jerrol Friend, was also sworn into office.