Haines city mayor elected by 2-vote margin

Candidate in second place will not call for a ballot recount

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Two votes separate the top candidates for Haines city mayor, but the second-place finisher won't challenge the tally.

City results canvassed and certified Tuesday evening showed David Black with 353 votes and Carl Lehman with 351. Dave Button had 40 votes.

Lehman, former Haines Borough mayor and a retired state biologist, said today he had no reason to protest the election results.

"The election stands as is," he said.

While Haines is known for close elections, Lehman said he was surprised by the results in this race. "This is about as close as they come," he said.

Black, a retired fuel distribution business owner, said he and Lehman weren't far apart on their approach to economic issues in Haines.

"My platform was to help develop a viable economy with input from everyone. My opponent was from the same vein in what we needed," he said.

Black said hiring a new city manager, keeping an eye on the tourism economy and exploring the possibility of city-borough consolidation will require his attention in the weeks ahead. So will the subject of helicopter tourism in Haines, he said.

Haines city and borough voters approved an advisory question supporting managed helicopter tourism, including heliskiing, by a 615-512 vote. An initiative backed by tour critics that would set up a helicopter service area to regulate helicopter flightseeing outside city limits passed 209-133.

Turnout in the Haines city election Oct. 2 was 48 percent; turnout in the borough election was 53 percent, according to final results.

A final count of borough ballots showed current Borough Assembly member Jan Hill winning the race for borough mayor with 584 votes. Fred Shields had 526 votes.

Hill said she expects solid waste issues and consolidation to require attention, and hopes to establish a good relations between the city and borough governments. She also expects helicopter management to be another area of focus.

"The message is clear. The community will support it but wants to have some controls. Our big job is what they might be," Hill said.

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