Emergency ordinance mandating cloth masks at fireworks display tops Assembly agenda

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The fireworks display and how residents are to protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic when they gather to watch highlights the agenda for Monday evening's regular Assembly meeting.

    An emergency ordinance is up for action, according to Manager Rorie Watt.  "When the Assembly decided to let the fireworks show proceed,  they added in the requirement that cloth face coverings be worn."

    Six votes are necessary for passage since the required period of time for public scrutiny is shortened.  "That ordinance has to pass for the fireworks show to happen," he said.

    Under terms of the ordinance, people not wearing a mask could be cited and ordered to pay a $25 fine.  That mandate would not apply to children under two and people with disabilities.

    There's a second emergency ordinance related to the use of masks on Capital Transit buses and in CBJ owned facilities that are open to the public.  The current ordinance expires Tuesday.  This measure would extend the requirement three more months unless terminated earlier by the Assembly.

    Six votes are needed for passage of the emergency ordinances since the public notice period was shortened.  .

    An ordinance amending the election code to allow for the October 6 local election to be conducted by mail is up for action.  Watt said that clarifies the code and standards so they can do vote by mail fairly and efficiently.

    There's a companion emergency ordinance up for approval amending the election code related to the candidate filing period.  Mayor Beth Weldon said the dates have been moved up.  "To file for a municipal or school board candidacy, the date is now July 17 at 8 a.m. and the filing closes on July 27 at 4:30 p.m. and this is much earlier than it has been in the past."

    Two ordinances appropriate federal CARES Act funding for Bartlett Regional hospital, according to Watt.   He said $10,000 will go toward the hospital's fund balance since its lost quite a bit of revenue due to the pandemic.  The other measure provides $700,000 for testing equipment at the hospital.  

    There's a measure up for approval that extends the lease of about one point 25 acres for state employee parking in the area adjacent to the JACC and Centennial Hall.  The lease which expires this summer would be renewed for up to five years.  

    An ordinance up for introduction appropriates nearly $234,000 for an electric bus.  Watt said they have been very successful in obtaining grants.  "The first electric bus is expected to be delivered in October.  In addition, there's another grant in the pipeline for $5 Million for additional electric buses that will appear on a future Assembly agenda for approval.    As a  result, Watt says they will recognize Denise Guizio of Capital Transit at this meeting since she did the lion's share of the work on that grant application.  "Good on Denise for knocking down a $5 Million federal grant.  That's really a big deal."The Assembly meeting is scheduled to convene at 7 p.m.

    Citizens can participate via Zoom or Facebook Live Stream.  Instructions are available at www.juneau.org

    The Assembly Human Resources Committee convenes at meeting at 5:30 p.m.

    It will listen to annual reports from the Utility Advisory Board and the Treadwell Arena Advisory Board    Two appointments will be made to the Utility Board and three to the ice rink panel.

    An appointment will also be made to the Jensen Olson Arboretum Advisory Board.  There are two vacancies on the Douglas Advisory Board that need to be filled.

    The committee will review the anti-racist resolution drafted by the Juneau Human Rights Commission that is accompanied by a memo.  The panel will review eight applications for appointment to four seats on the commission.

    The committee will also discuss Assembly and staff workloads and ways to avoid burnout.


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