Port Commission term limits
The Port Commission sought approval from the assembly to remove a section of appointment ordinance that limited the term limits of committee members.
“(The Port Commission) is the only committee that has a term limit of two terms,” Assemblyman Tim Cochran said.
Cochran explained that finding qualified individuals to serve on the commission is hard to do.
“I think we’re handicapping ourselves by having a term limit in this respect,” Cochran said.
Assemblyman Steve Burnham noted that Juneau’s Port Commission used similar language to the term limits.
“Looking at it a different way, if only one commission has term limits, maybe the other two could have term limits,” he said.
Burnham pointed that Skagway should look into why people aren’t wanting to be on the committee and what can be done to get people wanting to serve.
“I don’t think we need to change their code at all,” Burnham said.
Cochran responded to Burnham by saying comparing Skagway’s Port Commission to Juneau’s was not a fair comparison, but agreed that the Borough needed look at ways to attract more people to serving on the commission.
“I think Juneau has 30,000 people and we don’t have lot of people draw from,” Cochran said.
Assemblyman Orion Hanson mentioned his time on Planning and Zoning, where they struggled to meet a quorum due to committee members who weren’t attending.
“If you have people who are engaged and involved, that probably outweighs the bad of some complacency or strong opinions,” Hanson said.
Mayor Carlson pointed out that there are individuals who have great knowledge on the Port Commission who are about to be term limited out.
Assemblyman Dan Henry addressed Hanson’s statement of people not showing up to Planning and Zoning meetings and how the situation could be solved with term limits.
“If they don’t have a limited term, that person is still not going to show up for a longer period of time,” Henry said.
Assemblyman Jay Burnham pointed out that the term limits stated that it was two three-year terms, with one year off. After which, the commission member could rejoin.
“It doesn’t seem that restrictive to me,” he said.
Steve Burnham also pointed out that a commissioner serves until a replacement takes office.
“I suppose if a mayor wanted a certain individual to retain their seat, they just don’t need to appoint another one,” Steve Burnham said.
The vote was split 3-2, with the motion failing to pass.
Klondike Highway safety
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce recently put out a statement supporting implementation of different safety measures on the Klondike highway during the summer season.
Some solutions recommended by the Yukon Chamber include opening the border two hours earlier for truck drivers and the use of a key fob system for truck drivers passing the border.
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce noted that number of trucks on the Klondike Highway is projected to increase over the coming years and tourism is rising in Skagway.
While the petition notes that no major incidents have occured, they made note that the risk of such an accident increases with every passing year.
After the assembly heard about the letter, they decided to draft a their own supporting the Yukon Chamber of Commerce petition written from the perspective of Skagway.
The assembly approved the letter being sent unanimously.
Borough Manager update
The assembly held video interviews with two of the candidates for Borough Manager, and a phone interview with the third.
The assembly previously met to approve questions and the utilization of video interviews with all candidates. Due to a technical issue, one candidate’s had to be done by audio only.
After talking with all candidates, the assembly agreed to invite them to Skagway for in-person interviews.
The assembly also discussed the best date to fly the candidates into Skagway.
In addition to wanting the entire assembly to be present, the interviews are hopefully being scheduled for a time that residents of Skagway can interact with potential Borough Managers.
The assembly settled on inviting the candidates during the third week of January and interviewing all candidates on the same day.
Assemblyman Steve Burnham made the formal motion to invite John Ardaugh, David Milliron and Sam Kito III to Skagway and to allow them all a plus one.
Planning and Zoning made a recommendation to make a code amendment to update the approval process of driveway plans. The new ordinance would no longer have Planning and Zoning running the approval process, and new requests would go through the permitting official for consideration by the public works director.
“This is just kind of cleaning up some outdated language,” said Assemblyman Orion Hanson.
The assembly approved the ordinance unanimously.
The assembly heard a motion, put forth by the Planning and Zoning committee, to provide regulations on private property in rights of way and alleys.
As of the time of the hearing, Skagway had no municipal code to compel someone to remove his or her private property from the area.
“I know this has to do with the alleys and public right of ways becoming full of other people’s possessions and waste and this is a way we can enforce the cleanup,” Mayor Monica Carlson said.
In addition to junk items, the motion made specific callouts to the items that may lead to bears being attracted.
The motion passed unanimously and went into effect following the adoption.