In addition to offering a sales tax proposition approved by the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly Thursday, the municipal election in October may also ask voters whether to limit the terms of the borough mayor, assembly members and the school board, as a petition with more than enough signatures was submitted to the borough clerk’s office by the deadline on Friday.
The clerk’s office will now review the petition for certification, ensuring the signatures gathered are from qualified voters in the borough and are valid.
The petition needed 347 signatures by the deadline. The primary sponsor and driving force behind the petition, Lorna Arndt, said she was able to gather more than 500 signatures since picking up the petition from the clerk’s office on July 5.
While another sponsor, Anne Kalcic, gathered nearly 90 signatures, Arndt said she gathered more than 400 signatures herself.
Arndt said she “worked hard day and night” to gather signatures, pitching her proposal for placing term limits on the ballot to passersby at Safeway, Walmart, the post office, King’s Diner, and by going door to door.
She called into the KVOK radio hotline offering to come to the home of anyone who wanted to sign the petition.
“There were so many (people) that were so happy to sign,” said Arndt, who was pleased the petition could make people happy.
If approved, the measure would limit elected borough and school board officials to two consecutive terms. Any portion of a term served would count as a full term.
After serving two consecutive terms, elected officials would need to wait six years before they could serve in any of the positions again. The typical term for each of these elected positions is three years.
“We need new blood and new ideas because we’re not getting anywhere in this borough,” Arndt said before beginning to gather signatures. “We’re going backwards.”
Arndt has argued that the effect of a two-term limit would be to encourage more people, including more minorities, to run for borough government seats by not being intimidated by an incumbent.
Counting on the petition to be certified, Arndt said she would continue to support the term limits initiative through word of mouth and by organizing the people who signed the petition to get out and vote to approve it.
Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at whanna@kodiak