New Assembly to organize

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The new Juneau Assembly organizes Monday evening following the local election earlier this month.

    When newly re-elected member Wade Bryson was asked on Action Line if he's angling to chair a committee, he said yes, but added, "I've let the mayor know what some of my preferences were, but I also let her know that I wanted to keep an open mind and be as flexible as possible.  I said put me where you need to and if you need me to chair something, then I'm more than happy to.  If you think you want to give somebody else an opportunity first, it's at the mayor's discretion."   He added, "I'm just here to serve.  You tell me where to serve and I will go serve there."

    In addition to Bryson, Carol Triem, and Alicia Hughes-Skandijs will be sworn in.  Newly elected Greg Smith was sworn in earlier due to travel plans.

    An ordinance up for action calls for the local government to provide a $4 point 5 million grant toward construction of a new arts and culture center.

    The Assembly sought the opinion of voters during the October 1 election and an overwhelming number said no to such a grant.  The city manager is recommending that the Assembly indefinitely postpone the grant.

    Bryson was asked if the Assembly has gotten the message.  "Yes.  I fully expect that that is the direction that the Assembly will go.  I can't imagine a scenario where the Assembly ignores a handy defeat of an advisory vote."  He added that it would be a disservice to the community if the Assembly went against their wishes.  The "no" votes amounted to 4,938 to 3,551 voting "yes".

    There are a number of resolutions up for approval.

    One calls for the local government into a loan agreement with the state to partially fund phase two of the Douglas Highway Water Replacement project.  The total project cost is $4 Million.

    Two other resolutions call for the city and borough to sell general obligation bonds via the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank to help fund a portion of the North Terminal Reconstruction Project at the airport.

    There's a resolution calling on the Assembly to ratify the economic terms of the tentative labor agreement negotiated with the International Association of Firefighters.  The total cost is estimated at $166,000 in fiscal year 20; $219,000 in F-Y 21 and $281,000 in fiscal year '22.

    A bid award for a cold weather emergency shelter and operations is for approval.  The manager is recommending that the bid be awarded to St. Vincent de Paul in the amount of $125,000 which matches the engineer's estimate.

    Two marijuana licenses are in trouble for non-payment of sales tax.  They include the Rainforest Farms store and cultivation licenses.  Nearly $35,000 in sales tax is owed.  As a result, the city manager is recommending that the Assembly protest renewal of the licenses until the sales tax funds are remitted.

    The Assembly meeting is scheduled to convene at 7 p.m. in Assembly Chambers at City Hall.




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