1 April 2014 Borough Assembly Meeting Report
By Sue McClure
The committee portion of our afternoon began with a teleconference with the Kenai Peninsula Borough legislative delegates. We were updated on the status of legislation, and the delegates answered questions posed by assembly members.
At our regular 6 PM meeting, Chief of Staff Paul Ostrander read the Mayor’s proclamations declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and also proclaiming April 1, 2014 as National Service Recognition Day. Mayor Navarre was in Juneau today. We also heard a presentation from Dale Banks of Loopy Lupine Distributing on composting, and an additional presentation from a Homer high school student on a related composting project.
In the Mayor’s report, Mr. Ostrander reported that the budget review meetings have been held and the Mayor’s budget will be presented to the assembly at our May 6 meeting. The KPB School District budget will be approved at their April 14 meeting.
We had four ordinances up for public hearing, and the first two passed unanimously. Ordinance 2013-19-30 appropriated nearly $35 million in revenue bonds for the Central Peninsula Hospital’s new specialty clinic building. Ordinance 2013-19-31 moved funds from one school district project to another.
The bulk of our meeting was taken up with Ordinance 2014-11 and a substitute for that ordinance. The original, sponsored by Assembly member Johnson, would have reduced the assembly compensation by removing all aspects such as health insurance and car allowance, and providing only a monetary amount per month. There was no public comment on either of these ordinances. After assembly discussion, it was moved to hear the substitute ordinance, sponsored by Assembly member Smith, which would keep the existing compensation details, and increase the base compensation. Prior to that, it was unanimously approved to remove the clause that would tie an increase in compensation to the Anchorage Consumer Price Index. Then it was moved to postpone voting, so Ordinance 2014-11, Smith Substitute, will be heard at our 4/15 meeting in Seward. This basically retains the current compensation details, but increases the monthly allowance from $400 to $560 except for the president whose allowance would increase from $500 to $700 per month.
We moved several ordinances on to public hearing at our May 6 meeting, including one that would appropriate $1.37 million in school revenue capital project funds for safety and security improvements, and Ordinance 2014-13 which would amend code to allow the assembly to waive the senior and disabled veteran property tax exemption application deadline by resolution rather than by ordinance.
The next meeting will be in Seward at 6 PM April 15, at City Council chambers. The only other ordinance up for public hearing besides 2014-11 Substitute, is Ordinance 2013-19-33, which would redirect funds for the South Peninsula Hospital from an HVAC retrofit project to a more important purchase of new oxygen generators.
As always, you can reach me at 224-6784 (leave a message if needed) or email@example.com. The Seward Annex office in SeaView Plaza or the Flood Service Area office are good information sources as well. Our agendas are posted at the Seward Post Office and in the City Hall corridor prior to the meetings.