Local News

Lawsuit action on Assembly agenda Monday

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will consider two actions Monday related to the planned lawsuit against the state over education funding.

A public hearing will precede the first, which is an ordinance providing $150,000 to start the legal research needed prior to filing a lawsuit. The second motion is to approve a contract for legal services with K&L Gates, which has offices in Anchorage.

If approved, that law firm will handle the case for the borough.

Led by Manager Dan Bockhorst, the borough has for about five years challenged what it calls state underfunding of basic needs for schools. The state requires that borough governments fund local schools, but that requirement isn’t uniform throughout the state.

The required local contribution is the percentage of a school district’s budget that an organized borough in Alaska must pay. First-class cities in Alaska that are not within an organized borough also face that same requirement, including Craig, Klawock and Hydaburg.

Also on Monday, the Assembly will consider recommendations by the Board of Ethics regarding two complaints filed against Assembly Member Alan Bailey. The Ethics Board found that Bailey did violate a requirement that he declare possible conflicts of interest, but recommended only that Bailey research the requirement and provide a report to the Assembly.

The Assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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