Kodiak’s election results have yet to be finalized; both the borough and city governments will do their canvassing of the election on October 13. There are some apparent winners and some races that are still too close to call. The race for the second city council seat, between incumbent Terry Haines and Tracy Craig, is still quite close. Haines, who is an employee of KMXT, remains ahead by only 14 votes.
In the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly, one race appears clear: challenger Scott Smiley has a 46-vote lead over incumbent James Turner, and a 385-vote lead over incumbent Dennis Symmons.
“I don’t know. I’m just a sweet guy,“ Smiley said.
He says he remembers coming to Kodiak in 1974, the summer President Richard Nixon resigned. Smiley was a graduate student doing biology research. He eventually left to lecture at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He returned to Kodiak as director for the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, then known as the Fishery Industrial Technology Center. He retired in 2012 after working there for 11 years.
Smiley applied to fill an empty seat on the Borough Assembly in 2016, and was appointed by the assembly. Later in the year, the position came up for election, which Smiley won. In 2019 he decided not to run again for health reasons. Now that he’s apparently headed back on the assembly, he says he wants to get the departments back to full strength- according to the clerk’s office, there are eight vacant borough positions on the roster. He also complained that the state government is offloading costs to local governments.
“We’re getting hammered by the state and new fiscal responsibilities are being shoveled on to the municipalities, and unlike the federal government and the state governments, we can’t just wing it. We have to balance the books. And then there’s been a strong anti-tax move- well, really since Ronald Reagan, and we’ve been doing that for 50 years or so, and there’s no money, we can’t hire people, we can’t do anything,” Smiley said.
Incumbent borough assembly member James Turner was also re-elected with 737 votes. He’s been on the borough assembly since 2018.