City of Delta Junction mayor Freda Degnan tendered her resignation as mayor and as a member of the city council effective September 5, 2021. Degnan said that she is relocating out of the state for personal reasons and that she was doing so with a heavy heart.
With Degnan’s departure the City Council will have one vacant position until the next general election which will be on October 5, 2021. If Degnan’s resignation were effective immediately, the council could have filled the position until the next election. Alaska Statute says that vacancies that occur within 30 days of an election are not filled until the election.
The next upcoming municipal election will have four council positions available to be filled. In addition to Degnan’s seat, Council Members Lou Heinbockel, Erin Catterson and Charles Lester’s seats are all up for election this fall.
The period to file to run for a position on the City Council opens on August 27 and continues through September 10. Heinbockel has indicated that he is not currently considering entering the race.
According to City Clerk Pat White, there have been other times when four positions were up for election at one time. Most recently in 2013, 2015 and 2017. If none of the existing council members file and win in the election, there will be a new majority on the Council. The Council has seven seats, including the mayor, who is elected from the Council members.
Michael Prestegard, Pete Hallgren, and Alan Levinson are the other existing council members.
When Degnan’s resignation becomes effective at the Sept. 7 meeting, Heinbockel who is the deputy mayor, will automatically become mayor. Heinbockel has served as mayor previously. The Council will also select a new deputy mayor.
Following the October election, the Council will again select a new mayor and deputy mayor.
City Council positions are staggered so that there is continuity within the Council and each term is for three years with two seats filled during two elections and three seats filled during one election.
Candidate packages are currently available at city hall. Completed candidate packages will be accepted at City Hall starting on August 27 and must be filed by September 10. Candidates must be a registered voter living within the city limits for at least one at time of filing.