Michelle Bonnet Hale (Photo courtesy of Jim Hale)

Michelle Bonnet Hale (Photo courtesy of Jim Hale)

Michelle Hale running for city Assembly seat

Michelle Bonnet Hale loves Juneau even the weather.

Combining that fondness with what she has learned in various jobs, Hale has decided to run for the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly District 2 Valley seat. Hale made the announcement in an email sent to the Empire Wednesday.

“I have worked for the state and private enterprises,” Hale told the Empire Wednesday by phone. “I have always really wanted to serve at the local level and never had the chance to do that.”

The District 2 seat will be vacated by Jerry Nankervis, who is running for a seat in the Alaska Legislature this year. While the official filing period doesn’t open until August, Hale filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission on Wednesday.

District 1 incumbent Loren Jones filed a letter of intent for his seat in November. Those are the only two open seats up for election this year on the Assembly. Mayor Ken Koelsch’s term also expires this year; no one has filed for mayor yet.

Filing a letter of intent allows a candidate to begin fundraising.

Hale, 56, was born and raised in Juneau and said she had spent all but 17 years of her life in the capital city. She is the great-granddaughter of Petersburg homesteaders and fishermen, and the granddaughter of the chief electrical engineer of Juneau’s Alaska-Juneau Mine. Hale said she believes her skills as a facilitator will make her an asset on the Assembly.

“I have done a lot of work facilitating meetings and getting people to sit down and talk together and see each other’s side,” Hale said. “We have a lot of issues in Juneau that are very polarizing, but they don’t need to be.”

Hale has worked on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, managed a private water lab in Juneau and served as environmental coordinator for the Kensington Mine north of Juneau. Hale is now a local entrepreneur, running a business selling her late father Herb Bonnet’s artwork and art cards.

Tackling tough issues, Hale said, also has encouraged her to run.

“I like people and I like solving problems, even if they are tough,” Hale said.

Hale said with ever-changing issues to deal with, she is focused on how she can face them.

“I am driven by seeing what I can do to help,” Hale said.

She also wants to ensure that Juneau is a place made for all ages.

“It can be a hard place to be old,” Hale said. “I hate seeing my friends leave. Juneau is a great place, but there is always room to make it better. I hope we can make it hard to leave Juneau because it is so good here.”

The official filing period to run for CBJ Assembly opens at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3 and closes at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at 4:30 p.m. All paperwork must be completed and signed/notarized in hand at the Municipal Clerk’s Office at City Hall.

The city municipal election is Oct. 2.

• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at gphilson@juneauempire.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of March 2

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Analysis: Balanced state budget next year can include a $1,535 PFD and $680 BSA increase

However, a “statutory” $3,688 PFD would result in a deficit of more than $1.2 billion, report says.

The Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development at its meeting Wednesday in Juneau. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska’s education board sends a $500M wish list for construction and maintenance to lawmakers

The state’s Board of Education and Early Development approved a priority list… Continue reading

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Most Read