The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will continue gathering the first and third Monday of each month for its regular meetings. On Monday, the Assembly rejected a proposal to instead meet every three weeks.
Assembly Member Jim Van Horn said there’s no good reason to change the schedule.
“We were elected by the people. We’re here to do the people’s business. That’s why we’re up here on the dais. And to schedule it out, stretch it out three weeks, I realize it gives staff some more time to research different questions we might bring up, but still, we’ve been doing this for 50 years and I don’t see any need to change it now,” he said.
Assembly Member Bill Rotecki added that he initially liked the idea, because it would give Assembly members and borough staff more time between meetings, “but all of the input I’ve gotten, which has been probably a half-dozen people, were opposed to it. So, sort of reluctantly, I feel, like was said by Assemblyman Horn, we’re here to serve them and that was the request I got from quite a few different directions, so I’m going to actually say we should go with status quo.”
However, Rotecki later joined the dissenting side when voting on a motion to reject the proposed three-week meeting schedule. That motion passed 4-3, with Rotecki, Todd Phillips and Agnes Moran voting no.
Phillips argued that the idea has some merit, and should be explored.
“I think we need to give this a shot. It can always be changed,” he said. “I think it’s important that we represent a quality of decision making; and when the staff, who does a lot of the research and brings forth all the information, this would give them more of a chance for them to research and get more public opinion prior to the meetings, I think it’s a good thing.”
Also Monday, the Assembly unanimously approved a resolution that ensures Prince of Wales Island residents that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has no interest in annexing that neighboring island.
The next regular Borough Assembly meeting is March 4th.