MacKinnon bows to Assembly term limits

Stan Ridgeway to run again for School Board

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Deputy Mayor John MacKinnon said he won't run for re-election to the Juneau Assembly this fall because of the city's term limits law.

Stan Ridgeway, one of two incumbents on open seats on the Juneau School Board, said he will run again. The city election is Oct. 2.

MacKinnon has served four terms on the Assembly after being elected to represent District 2 in 1989. As tedious as some meetings may seem, he said he will miss the job.

"I really enjoy it, it's been part of my life for a long time. For lack of a better word, it's my recreation. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it," he said.

Term limits went into effect in 1992 in Juneau and apply to Assembly members who have served three consecutive terms. A candidate can run again after one year, although MacKinnon said he doesn't have any plans to seek other political office right now.

"Once I take a break, I may never want to come back," he said jokingly after Monday's Assembly meeting.

Assembly member Jim Powell plans to run for re-election, but hasn't specified whether he intends to run for his areawide seat or the District 2 seat, he said Monday. Mark Farmer, former chairman of the now-disbanded Urban Bear Committee, said he plans to run against Powell, but lives in District 1.

Farmer said he's more likely to run for an areawide seat, but added he would have to make a serious decision about a run for office if the bear committee was brought back and he was named chairman.

A seat held by District 1 Assembly member Cathy Mu-oz also is up for election this fall. She hasn't decided whether to run again, she said.

Ridgeway, who has served one term on the School Board, was elected when voters were first deciding whether to approve bonds to build a new high school. They rejected it that year, but a year later approved fixing up Juneau-Douglas High School and building a new school at Dimond Park.

Now, Ridgeway said, he'd like to stay on the School Board to be sure it does everything it can to carry out the voters' wishes. The new school awaits state funding.

Ridgeway said the School Board still has work to do on helping students meet local and state academic standards.

"We really need to concentrate on our math scores and concentrate on our writing scores, especially for males," he said.

School Board President Mary Becker, the other incumbent whose seat is open this fall, said previously that she plans to run for re-election.

Candidates for local office can file nominating petitions from 8 a.m. Aug. 13 through 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23 in the city clerk's office.

Empire reporter Eric Fry contributed to this report.



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