Two Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly members hope to kickstart a process to develop a home-rule charter for the borough.
Glen Thompson and John Harrington submitted a resolution for Monday’s Assembly meeting that calls for electing a seven-member commission that would prepare a charter.
In their sponsor’s statement, they argue that as a home-rule borough rather than a second-class borough, Ketchikan would have maximum self-governance and autonomy. Voters could establish certain limits for their government, including tax caps and debt limits; require voter approval for all bond debt and other long-term financial commitments; and voter approval for any new services.
The statement also argues that local school funding could be spelled out in a charter, providing stability for education funding that can be changed only by a vote of the public.
The proposed resolution calls for a mail-in election in mid-December. If the resolution is approved Monday by the Assembly, nominating petitions for charter commission members would be available Oct. 7th, with a filing deadline of Nov. 4th.
Election ballots then would be mailed out on Nov. 23rd, and would be due back by Dec. 13th.
A mail-in election would cost about $16,000. If the Assembly opted for an in-person election, it would cost about $10,000, according to the agenda statement.
Monday’s Assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.