MAT-SU—The results from the Oct. 2, 2012 election for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough were certified tonight, and three Assembly Members and the Mayor took the oath of office. Voter turnout was 18.52 percent.
In two separate readings, Borough Clerk Lonnie McKechnie administered the oath of office to Mayor Larry Devilbiss and then to Assembly Members Jim Colver and Vern Halter at the school district chambers and Ron Arvin on the phone. Mayor DeVilbiss said he could not remember a time where four seats were open for the Assembly and Mayor and all who were seated won re-election.
All thanked the Canvass Board whose meticulous work certified that the election results are true and accurate. The Canvass Board includes: Chair Geraldine Keeling, Shirley Mills, Francine Strother, Tereasa Thompson, and Beverly Zobel. Clerk McKechnie and her staff were thanked repeatedly. "I was amazed, astounded," said Assembly Member Steve Colligan of the effort of the clerk's office, calling the management of the many precincts "no small feat."
Assembly Member Vern Halter thanked the voters of district 7, including Meadow Lakes, Talkeetna, and Skwentna. "It's a privilege to represent you," Halter said. He said the MAT-SU is growing and on the verge of implementing the $64 million in road bonds recently funded.
Assembly Member Jim Colver said it was his fourth time being sworn in for another three years, but "it's not old yet." He is eager to be productive and get work done.
Assembly Member Ron Arvin said he was "excited" to be back and thanked District 3 voters for having confidence in him. Arvin said he brings to the table experience that can help large projects become reality.
Both Assembly Member Warren Keogh and Assembly Member Colligan expressed concern that voter turnout was only 18.52 percent.
Mayor DeVilbiss said he was thankful for the election process as it brings issues forward. I take it as a mandate to responsible development of natural resources, building the local economy, and the minimum government regulations as necessary. DeVilbiss said he was finally serving his own term, after having just finished out former Mayor Talis Colberg's term.
Assembly Member Darcie Salmon said he was "ecstatic" about the election results.
Also elected are: Debby Retherford and Sarah Welton to the School Board.
Proposition 1: proposing an increase in mill levy for the Willow fire service area failed. Proposition 2 passed. It gives a residential owner a tax exemption for $20,000 if they are seniors or disabled veterans or their spouses.
Final election results are posted on http://www.matsugov.us/Clerk/elections
Photos: top left Mayor Larry DeVilbiss being sworn in by Clerk Lonnie McKechnie. Lower left: in the clerks office: Holly Dubose, Deputy Clerk Jamie Newman, Debra Wetherhorn, and Sharon Huckins. Photo right: Assembly Members Jim Colver and Vern Halter smiling big after swearing-in ceremony. Photos by Patty Sullivan/MSB.