Meet the Candidates for

Skagway’s Borough Election

Two are running for the one seat
(each candidate was asked to submit a statement up to 350 words)

Tim Bourcy
Age: 43
Occupation: Owner, Packer Expeditions
Years in Skagway: 17
Education: Colorado State University, wildlife biology.
Public offices held: Lt SAR, Planning and zoning, City Council, Mayor 3 terms, President Alaska Municipal League.
Interests: Skiing, hiking, reading

This is a landmark election for the citizens of Skagway. After a seven year struggle with the Boundary Commission we have been approved for the formation of the Municipality of Skagway Borough! My desire to serve as borough mayor stems from laying the foundation of the new borough government and setting a course for the future of Skagway. When I first ran I set goals that I wanted to achieve. These included the formation of the Skagway Borough, the establishment of the recreation center and securing our entitlement lands from the state. Happily I can say that we as a community have finally achieved these goals!
If elected, I would like to set three main goals for moving forward.
1. The sale of municipal entitlement lands beginning with the Taiya Inlet subdivision so that the new residents of Skagway have an opportunity to set roots and start families in this community.
2. Construction of the new clinic so that we have an adequate medical and mental health facility for the next 100 years as this community continues to grow.
3. Economic diversification in the new borough. This is a two- pronged effort, one being the expansion of the small boat harbor to create infrastructure for existing demand and the development of uplands for fishery transshipment to global markets. The second is the continued development and modernization of the ore terminal so that we can take advantage of natural resource transshipment potential and compete competitively with other port facilities on the global stage. This needs to be a careful development that balances the many resource shipment opportunities with the continued success of our tourism industry.
In closing, I would like to say that I am very proud of what this community has achieved over the years. I have heard it said that this is a dying community. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are a vibrant community with unbelievable opportunities and potential! Let us seize the day and create a strong and healthy borough for our residents.

Tom Cochran
Age: 39
Occupation: Telephone tech
Education: H.S. graduate, some college
Years in Skagway: roughly 39 excepting my tenure with Uncle Sam
Public offices held: 3-year council term 96-99, one-year school board, currently councilmember
Interests, hobbies: Local politics, computers, outdoor activities

I am running for Mayor of Skagway because I feel I can offer fresh new leadership for our new borough. In the past I have served as councilmember and school board member. I was Manager of Port Operations for the port of Skagway for five years and I am currently employed by Alaska Power and Telephone Company. I have a firm understanding of our infrastructure, economy and community. I grew up in Skagway, my children grew up in Skagway and my grandchildren are growing up in Skagway.
At a recent city council meeting, during public comment it was stated that our community is dying. I agreed with this statement to the consternation of fellow members at the council table. I was told that Skagway was a vibrant community with a breeding problem. Well let me tell you this, the Cochran family definitely does not have a breeding problem. In all seriousness, the issue of community was the focal point of the discussion. To some people a seasonal economy with lots of summer workers and visitors is a vibrant community. You definitely can’t deny that our sales tax coffers are abundant, which in turn helps stabilize property taxes. Others contend that a diverse economy with quality year round jobs and affordable housing is the definition of a vibrant community. I imagine that everyone has their own definition of a vibrant community. I also believe that everyone wants Skagway to succeed and prosper. We all want to be proud of our community and we all want to be proud to call Skagway our home.
The issues that are important to me are affordable housing, affordable property, proactive measures for economic diversity, financial responsibility and accountability in municipal government, oversight of capital projects, and limiting government regulation and intrusion in the daily lives of our citizens.
I believe we are currently at a point where Skagway can implement serious change in our local government. Itís up to you whether or not we make that happen.

Nine are running for six seats

Lisa “LC” Cassidy
Age: 38
Occupation: woodworker, tour guide
Education: graduate University of New Hampshire: Political Science, Art History, Environmental Science, life.
Years in Skagway: 16
Public Offices held: Skagway Planning and Zoning, Skagway City Council.
Interests, Hobbies: outdoor adventures, cooking, woodworking

This is a very exciting time in Skagway history as we move to the ultimate form of self government initiated by the Alaska State Constitution. I would love the opportunity, once again, to work with our community and continue our progress. One of my most challenging goals is to play a major role in the rewrite of our Comprehensive Plan. The aging Skagway Comprehensive Plan has been realized in many ways. Most of our goals have been achieved. It is now time to ask all citizens for input and direction into Skagway’s next decade. Where do we want to be in the next 10 years? I believe it is important for us to continue working on multiple economies for Skagway, including other port, private, and cottage industries. We need to continue to provide a safe, clean environment to live and recreate in and at the same time, create a balance between our seasons. I will continue to work on our current land sub division in the Dyea area, pushing for sound decisions that will give all a chance for more space. It is a tremendous challenge as several Alaskan markets have turned up, and, as we all know, Skagway is not exempt from this. We must get creative to create a level playing field. There are still many projects to see to completion such as our waterfront improvements, harbor expansion projects, and our new clinic. The City of Skagway has captured many grants for such major projects. This search must continue as we move on to borough status. In closing, I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to represent you. I hope for your continued discussion, debate, and support.

Dennis R. Corrington
Age: 65
Occupation: Self-employed retailer/ Real estate
Years in Skagway: Since 1975
Education: High school drop-out GED; Army Veteran, BS. English, Biology, Secondary Education; Masters Degree in Education Administration
Public offices held: Nome School Board President 1969-72.

I propose and strongly support the following:
Fiscal responsibility in spending less than the city’s actual income; and persistence in backing the city manager’s efforts to reduce the $1,000,000 increase for the ‘08 budget.
A monthly fiscal, single page, flash report should be published, readable, and accessible to the public.
The sale of municipal bonds to spread capital costs over time.
Three-year property tax freeze due to the past 3 years of aggressive property tax increases.
Year-round jobs: Expanding the industrial port to entice a wide range of ore shippers, through cost incentives, to utilize our port infrastructure.
Retirement incentives similar too those in Arizona, Texas and Florida to encourage seniors to stay and retirees to relocate or return to Skagway.
Building a capital access road to Juneau – as the logical way to energize our stagnant winter economy.
Tax incentives for all green (energy conserving) construction.
Re-directing the proposed $85,000 budget for the SDC into a grant writing position with measurable accountability.
That the SDC, Chamber, and CVB all be folded into a single location for economy of space, the unification of purpose, synergy of ideas, with the common purpose of supporting Skagway as a viable city with a stable economy as well as a tourist destination.
Limiting the number of seasonal jewelry stores to 20, by special permit only. Visitors protest that excessive number of jewelry stores hampers their Alaskan experience.
Re-funding the Jerry Meyers Fish Hatchery.
Radio broadcast assembly meetings; and consistent dates for assembly meeting times.
Borough status gives the city a chance for reorganization and growth. A recent trend across Alaska is teleconferencing. This is done in Anchorage, Kenai, MatSu Valley, etc. Mandating 80 percent physical attendance and 20 percent teleconference would allow for broader representation of all residents, better attendance of current and future members; and a wider variety of experience and expertise on the assembly. With my family’s blessing, I offer my energy, time, and business background to Skagway. After 40 years in Alaska, 32 in Skagway, I think my business approach and experience would benefit the city.

Ervon E. “Ed” Fairbanks
Age: 74
Occupation: Owner, Fairway Market
Years in Skagway: 61
Public offices held: Skagway City Council, 19 years.
Interests: Work, travel

I have been a resident of Skagway for 61 years. I graduated from Skagway High School and from the University of Alaska with a degree in engineering. Following college I served two years in the army at Fort Richardson where I was assigned to Army Headquarters, Corp of Engineers. During my military service, I performed engineering for NIKE missile sites around Anchorage and Fairbanks, my primary duty being site layout planning. Following my military service, I worked two years for Goodnews Bay Mining Company as assistant mining engineer at Platinum, Alaska. I then worked for Puget Sound Dredging Company as their field engineer on rivers, harbors and waterfront construction in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Three of my projects that people will be familiar with are the Skagway boat harbor, the Haines boat harbor, and the Aurora boat basin in Juneau. In 1960, following the death of my father, the founder of Fairway Market, I joined with my brother Leslie to continue the operation of that business. Today I am the sole owner of that business which has been a successful business in Skagway for 48 years.
I am now a candidate running for a seat on the new borough assembly. I believe my education, knowledge and experience along with my prior 19 years of council experience make me one of the most qualified candidates to represent the Skagway people. I will be in attendance at the election forum Tuesday, May 15 at the AB Hall to answer questions as to why I am running for the borough assembly. I would appreciate peoples vote in the upcoming election.

Mavis Irene Henricksen
Age: Senior
Occupation: Retired
Education: 4 yrs. college, started with Education/Cultural Anthropology , then
changed to Business/Transportation and Management
Years in Skagway: 57
Public offices held: City Council/Parks & Recreation and Civic Affairs; Chair, Centennial Committee; Chair, Economic Development Committee.
Interests, hobbies: Gardening, Stained glass work, government - Southeast Alaska Electrical Intertie

I believe there should be better long term planning and realistic goal setting in order to avoid our all too often crisis management.
I believe that we can diversify our economy as we endeavor to complement the economy we have now. It will take planning and effort, but is an absolute necessity. An economy built only on tour ship schedules takes only a day to destroy. Let’s plan for a future. The sooner we start, the sooner it can be accomplished. Why not start now before another crisis?
We, as the residents of Skagway are the owners and caretakers of our community. We must have COOPERATION, UNDERSTANDING and FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY or we will never be the strong, viable community we need to be if we are to prosper.
I believe we need change in our city government and the time for that change is now!
My goal is to work and promote issues that will BEST produce a healthy and productive community for all residents.

Dan Henry
Age: 52
Occupation: I work for Eileen M. Henry at Skagway Fish Co.
Years in Skagway: 18
Public offices held: City Council 3 terms, Exalted Ruler for Elks Lodge,
Interests, hobbies: Golf, chess, commodities markets.

Statement: Candidate was traveling this week, statement will appear on News website soon.

Colette Hisman
Age: Over 39
Education: Degree in psychology, business and humor, “Sweet Tooth University”
In Skagway: 10,711 days and nights
Hobbies & Interests: Broadway Show enthusiast; time with friends & family (and overthrowing local government)

Before we mark our ballots for our first Borough election, I can think of no better time to take a fresh look at how well our resources and the overall operations of Skagway have been managed. Are we satisfied? Is this the best we can do? Now’s the time for us to decide!
Fact is, I’ve already made my decision - I believe we could, and must, do better. To that end, I’ve chosen to enter this election and ask that you support my candidacy by electing me to the Skagway Assembly because...
I too am apprehensive about ever increasing property taxes and the lack of accountability regarding budgetary items – both revenue and expenses. Yes, we are legally entitled to and need timely, accurate financial reporting and public reviews to protect our assets. In reviewing the financial decisions made over the past few years, I know that I would be more fiscally responsible, yet still able to positively address and fulfill the needs of our community. And like you, I want to make sure that our tax dollars are being used to benefit the citizens of Skagway.
Most acknowledge the importance of our elected officials making attendance at the meetings a priority. Historically there are 23 regular council meetings per year - I will strive to attend each and every meeting. I believe that no one is able to fairly and adequately address the needs and issues of the community unless they are sitting at the table to listen to and vote on behalf of their constituents.
There is a need for each residents issues to be considered equally, without bias - and just like our Alaska Constitution says, I too promise I will consider “all persons equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law.” To accomplish this, I pledge to follow our local and state code to secure and protect the best interests of Skagway residents.
I cannot promise Skagway will be perfect if we vote for change; but what I know is we must vote for change now to secure a positive future.

Dave Hunz
Age: 53
Occupation: Engineeer, contractor, business owner
Education: Skagway High, 1 year college
Years in Skagway: 47
Public offices held: 4 terms, Skagway City Council; Economic Development Commission
Interests, hobbies: Boating, fishing, family.

First off, I hope everyone votes in support of our borough formation. It has been a long process, and I support it whole-heartedly, and I hope everyone will vote the same way.
As for priorities:
1. The clinic – keep it in operation and funding the new clinic building, and along with that, funding public safety – police and fire departments.
2. City land disposal - getting land out to the private sector.
3. Port development - developing our boat harbor and port infrastructure, along with future planning of when the city gets back its leased propterties.

Mike Korsmo
Age: 49
Occupation: Tugboat captain [1600 ton Ocean Masters License
Education: Associates , Marine Science Technology
Years in Skagway: 23
Public offices held: Skagway City Council, Southeast Conference Board of Directors, Alaska Municipal League Public Works and Infrastructure Committee
Interests, hobbies: Hiking, skiing, hunting

The past five years on the Skagway City Council have been rewarding and at times, frustrating. I truly believe in Skagway and its unique people, climate, and economy. There is nowhere else in the world like it.
For the past five years I have served as the council rep for the Ports and Harbors Committee. In that time the city has replaced a badly deteriorating seawall, taken over harbor ownership from the state and put together a design for a wave barrier to protect the existing facility and allow for expansion. We are currently looking at expansion plans to keep up with demand for individual slips and increased commercial activity. We have kept some of the lowest rates in the state while improving needed infrastructure. The port is vital to our economy and this year minerals will once again be shipped out of our waterfront giving us a more diverse economy. I fully support a year-round economy and will continue to work hard for it.
As chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee we have helped the city build a new baseball and soccer field at Seven Pastures with handicap access. This summer we will add a BMX course, new dugouts, and more grassy areas for the summer gatherings we have there. I helped develop a Comprehensive Trail Plan which has allowed us to receive grants and plan for the future. The Rifle Range progress has been frustrating but we have found a new site close to town on city property and work should begin this summer.
We face many challenges such as keeping out taxes low while also supporting livable wages and giving full support to our school. Making affordable property available is also a big challenge considering the high market values we have seen in recent years. Building a new clinic is also a challenge but with outside help it should be accomplished in a few years.
I have a strong desire to keep working on these and many other issues facing the city. It is a great place to live and raise children and I ask for your support.

Mark Schaefer
Age: 44
Occupation: Manager
Education: High school diploma, Sacramento City College Aviation Technical School.
Years in Skagway: 29
Public offices held: Skagway Ports and Harbors Advisory Committee, Past Exalted Ruler Skagway Elks #431.
Interests, hobbies: Gardening, Lutherie, outdoor activities/sports

I am asking for your support in the upcoming Skagway Borough Assembly election. I support Skagway becoming a borough and encourage all to go out and vote. I came to Skagway as a 15-year- old kid from Sacramento, California to work and have been here every year since. My family and I live here in Skagway because we like it here.
I am committed to a fair form of government that represents the people of Skagway and not my own opinions or agenda.
I am in support of the comprehensive plan to promote our quality of life in our school, in public safety, in recreation and also public works in a fiscally responsible manner. I am for access to our community to develop a healthy and balanced economy and for use of our public lands for the benefit of all people in Skagway.
I am committed to this community and would like to be involved in its future.
I am asking for you to vote for Mark Schafer on June 5, 2007.

Five are running for the five seats

Darren Belisle
Age: 40
Occupation: Lineman, Alaska Power and Telephone
Education: College
Years in Skagway: 15
Public offices held: School board last several years
Interests, hobbies: My family, fishing and camping

The reason I want to be on the school board is the children of Skagway. The children are our most valuable asset, and without the great education we give them here in Skagway where would they be. I want to be able to continue to offer them that ability to learn, and we need to find ways to keep the funding to keep offering this. We need to find a way to keep Dr. Dickens at the school, he has been a HUGE player in bringing our school to where it is. He puts in many hours looking for grants and other monies to keep things rolling. He has put the Skagway School District on the map for us, as we are starting to get national recognition. People are starting to look at the school as a reason to move to Skagway which in turn helps us all. I want to keep up the fight for our school.
Enrollment issues are a huge issue going on right now. We need to find a way to bring people to Skagway and want to enroll their children in our school. If numbers do not go up we are looking at cutbacks at the school. WE DO NOT WANT THAT. It would be nice to have public input at the meetings to help brainstorm ideas to help this happen.

Christine Ellis
Occupation: Self Employed
Education: High school, 2 years college for business
Years in Skagway: 43
Public offices held: School board, 6 years
Interests, hobbies: Family, gardening, learning.

I am currently on the school board and would like to stay on the board as we continue through this difficult time of lower enrollment, reduced funding, and operation increases. This has brought us many challenges as we look for ways to get our distant learning program off the ground, re-instate the music program, keep our current programs and offer a quality education.
I enjoy the students at the school and being involved in different aspects of their education. We have an outstanding student body and I’m proud to offer them support, at the board level and on a personal level, to assist them in becoming successful individuals.

Joanne Korsmo
Age: 49
Occupation: Station manager, Wings of Alaska
Education: 3 years of college
Years in Skagway: 23
Public offices held: Two terms on School Board, Library Board
Interests, hobbies: Hiking, reading

My reasons for running for school board are simple. I have two children attending Skagway School. They are getting a wonderful education with qualified teachers, strong curriculum, and the latest technology tools offered. I have worked closely with my fellow school board members and Dr. Dickens the past few years tackling many problems and challenges facing our district. We have seen some exciting new programs emerge, such as Drama, Debate and Forensics, Physical Education PEP grant, and Foreign Language Learning with technology equipment in place to keep foreign language studies alive in our small school. These programs were made possible by the hard work and dedication of our Superintendent Dr. Dickens and also the support and vision of our school board. My goals would be to keep a few of these programs alive and reinstate music back into the school curriculum.
Serving on the Skagway School Board has been a very rewarding experience and I would like the opportunity to learn more and hopefully contribute more.

Chris Maggio
Age: 57
Occupation: Pilot
Education: AA degree
Years in Skagway: 14 ( 5 years full time res.)
Public offices held: School Board member
Interests, hobbies: Guitar, woodworking, metal fabrication

My name is Chris Maggio and I’m running for a School Board seat. I have been a member of the Skagway City School Board for the last four years and would love to continue to serve this school and to give something back to this community that is very dear to me.
My background for this position was working for the Los Angeles Unified School District in the maintenance division in my younger years and my current position on this board here in Skagway.
Please cast your vote for Chris Maggio for School Board so we can continue to offer the high level of education that this school district has been noted for on a state and national level!
Thank You.

Robert Murphy
Age: 36
Occupation: Shore Excursion Provider
Education: 6 Years College, Computer Science, Music
Years in Skagway: 30
Public Offices held: City Council, ER Elks Lodge #431
Interests, Hobbies: Family, music, fishing

I believe that any community with a great education system will prosper. I would like to help make our school one that attracts families and insures longevity through outstanding achievement, fundamental values, and a true sense of community.