Chugiak council elects new officers

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 14:57
  • Chugiak Community Council board members Darryl Parks, Jake Horazdovsky, Maria Rentz, Blake Merrifield and Burke Wonnell at a council meeting April 20, 2017. In an emergency election, Horazdovsky was elected president by unanimous vote. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)
  • The Chugiak Community Council meets at the Elsie Oberg Community Center in Chugiak April 20, 2017. Council membership is open to people age 18 and over who live, own property or represent a business within the community council boundaries. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)
  • Anchorage transit planner Collin Hodges speaks at a Chugiak Community Council meeting April 20, 2017. The council, one of six in the Chugiak-Eagle River area, addresses everything from public transportation to land use and road maintenance. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)

The Chugiak Community Council saw a board shake-up Thursday night, with a small group of council members taking on new leadership positions, elected by several unanimous votes.

Council members called the emergency election following the resignation of president Randy McCain last month. McCain left several vacancies, including positions with the Chugiak-Birchwood-Eagle River Rural Road Service Area board and the Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board.

There were few volunteers to fill McCain’s shoes at Thursday’s regular monthly council meeting at the Elsie Oberg Center in Chugiak. Facing no competition, former vice president Jake Horazdovsky was elected president and Blake Merrifield was elected vice president. Maria Rentz was elected to represent Chugiak on the Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board, and Ted Carlson was chosen to fill a spot on the road board.

Voting on Chugiak Community Council matters is open to all people age 18 and older who live in the area, own property there or represent a business within the community council boundaries, according to CCC bylaws. About a dozen people participated in Thursday’s election.

The election followed a routine council meeting marked by road updates, budget talks and a long discussion about public transportation.

After a presentation by municipal transit planner Collin Hodges, council members passed a resolution opposing bus service reductions in Chugiak-Eagle River.

After an update on the fate of Aurora Borealis Road by Eagle River Street Maintenance general foreman Mark Littlefield, the council passed a resolution supporting continued public maintenance along the privately owned roadway.

Board members talked about gravel on roads and bike trails, as well as local parks and maintainenance. As the meeting drew to a close, they turned their attention toward Chugiak’s capital improvement project priority list. The document, compiled by council members, ranks local capital projects by order of need — a funding wishlist for local lawmakers and state legislators.

Council members said they expect to take action on the CIP list at next month’s meeting, which is scheduled to take place May 18 at 7 p.m. at the Elsie Oberg Community Center at 18606 Old Glenn Highway.

Contact Star reporter Kirsten Swann at [email protected]

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