Assembly appoints Hughes-Skandijs to replace Kiehl

Alicia Hughes-Skandijs. The Juneau Assembly appointed her to fill a vacant Assembly seat on Monday. (Photo courtesy Alicia Hughes-Skandijs)

Incoming state Sen. Jesse Kiehl resigned his seat on the Juneau Assembly Monday night as required by law.

Kiehl won the election to represent Juneau, Gustavus and the northern Lynn Canal in the Alaska Senate in November. He takes his new office Tuesday.

Upon handing over his letter of resignation, Kiehl thanked his colleagues on the Assembly and city staff saying it had been a singular privilege to serve the community.

“These seats, we occupy for a time — but they’re not ours. And I can honestly say, that everybody I have had the privilege of serving with understands that,” Kiehl said.

Mayor Beth Weldon thanked Kiehl for his seven years of service to the city.

Incoming state Sen. Jesse Kiehl thanks city staff after resigning from the Juneau Assembly on Jan. 14, 2019.
Incoming state Sen. Jesse Kiehl thanks city staff after resigning from the Juneau Assembly on Monday. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

In his place, the remaining members unanimously appointed Alicia Hughes-Skandijs to Kiehl’s District 1 seat. She will serve until the next municipal election in October.

Hughes-Skandijs is a 12-year Juneau resident. She first arrived to study at the University of Alaska Southeast and now works as a grants administrator for the state.

She was chosen from among seven applicants for the position.

After being sworn in, she said she’s excited to serve and looks forward to learning the ropes.

“As an appointed member, I’m kind of at this point just focusing on keeping the Assembly fully filled and working on the goals they already have set,” Hughes-Skandijs said. “But affordable housing and child care are personally two things that I know that are city goals that I’m excited to work on.”

Hughes-Skandijs said she is open to the possibility of running in October’s election to serve out the remaining year of the seat’s three-year term.

Immediately after her appointment, the full Assembly went into executive session to discuss recent litigation and contract negotiations.

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