The filing deadline for running for a city office came and went today, Thursday August 15th. It looks like there will be a bit of a contest for both the council and the mayor positions.
Recently retired former Seward Fire Chief David Squires has filed his candidacy for one of the three vacant council seats up for grabs in the October 1st municipal election.
Incumbent council member Christy Terry has also filed for a second council term. She has served one term thus far. She currently works for the Alaska Railroad Corporation as dock operations manager. Like Squires, she has a history as an employee of the City of Seward. Terry was hired to work at the city’s planning office in 1999, and continued there for several years before taking some off to raise her family. She returned to fill a new position as the executive liaison to the city’s boards and commissions in June of 2006. She filled several administration assistant positions, working in the engineering department, on contracting, and eventually becoming community development director in September of 2008. In that capacity she assisted former city manager Phillip Oates to get various complex projects completed, such as the Seward Mountain Haven long-term care facility building project.
Councilmembers Bob Valdata and Vanta Shafer also filed for their council seats this week. Valdatta has served on the council since 2002, and before that on the Port Development Committee and Port & Commerce Advisory Board. Shafer has served on the council since 1998 for a total of about 14 years, including four years as mayor between 2004-2008, and as vice mayor prior to that. She owns Cover to Cover Bookstore and publishes The Seward Journal.
Vice Mayor Jean Bardarson, a dental hygienist is running for the mayoral seat. She has served on the council since October 2006, when she was appointed to fill Margaret Branson’s council vacancy. She served as Vice Mayor the first time in 2009, and again in 2012 to the present.
Tim McDonald, a commercial fisherman, is also running for mayor. He has not been on the council but frequently attends council meetings and has run for both mayoral and council seats in the past. He currently represents Seward on the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association board of directors.
(This story was updated Thursday night after the filing deadline.)