Correction: Mary Farina was also seated on Monday after retaining her seat in October’s election.
At Monday night’s Talkeetna Community Council board of directors meeting, one new member was seated, one incumbent was seated again, and one resigned. Paul Button and Mary Farina were seated on the board at the beginning of Monday’s meeting. Outgoing board member Katie Writer thanked Button for stepping up and praised the efforts of her fellow board members. Writer opted not to run for a second term on the TCCI board earlier this year.
The board is not at its full complement of seven members, however. Board chair Whitney Wolff told attendees that board member Iris Vandenham has resigned. Wolff says that the resignation email arrived shortly before Monday’s meeting. Vandenham was out of town and did not attend Monday’s meeting.
According to the resignation letter, which Whitney Wolff read aloud, Iris Vandenham’s resignation is due to her citizenship status. Vandenham is not an American citizen, but is a legal resident. The Talkeetna Community Council allows any adult who lives within the council boundaries to serve on the board of directors. The Mat-Su Borough, however, requires that community council members be eligible to vote in the State of Alaska. Only U.S. citizens are allowed to register to vote in Alaska.
Vandenham’s letter, as well as other current and past board members expressed concern that legal permanent residents are not only prohibited from serving on the board of directors, but are also not technically members of the community council at all.
The vacancy will be filled by a vote of the remaining members of the board of directors. Nominations are being taken, and a vote will take place at next month’s meeting.