PALMER - Voters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough shot down most questions posed in a borough-wide election, rejecting higher property taxes, new debt, construction of five new libraries and a new animal shelter.
Mat-Su voters Tuesday overwhelmingly opposed an effort to tax gravel and other natural resources. They even turned down a measure aimed at curbing methamphetamine production. The measure would have made it harder to hoard cold medicines used to make the illegal drug.
Voters did uphold a $1-per-pack cigarette tax enacted in July - a move that has generated about $750,000 for the borough in the past three months, according to borough manager John Duffy. But Valley smokers protested, gathering thousands of signatures calling for a repeal.
Tuesday's ballot included two assembly seats. In the District 5 race, travel agency owner Cindy Bettine, defeated a pair of octogenarians, World War II veteran Henry "Hank" Corbin, 82, and former assemblywoman Jay Nolfi, 83.
The district covers Point MacKenzie, Big Lake, Knik-Goose Bay Road and parts of Fairview. Bettine, 53, replaces incumbent Jody Simpson, who was barred from seeking re-election after holding the seat for two consecutive terms.
In the District 4 race, representing Wasilla, incumbent Mary Kvalheim was leading Wasilla Planning Commissioner Greg Koskela by a scant 11. With almost 500 absentee ballots still uncounted in the district, the contest was too close to call.