The Nov. 5 assembly meeting was epic, the kind of event that makes writing the front page story easy. It started with Cindy Godbey chastising Borough Manager Brad Ryan and moved on to Mavis Henricksen refusing to leave the witness chair when her three minutes were up.
“I’m 87-years-old and I’m going to have my say,” she said.
The two-hour testimony, following the resignation of Ray Leggett on Oct. 20, was emotional. Leggett said he was forced by the municipality to resign or be fired. It was a titanic loss for the community, depending on how you looked at it.
A city lost their police chief in the midst of a shelter-in-place mandate. Congregation members will soon lose their pastor and close friends when the Leggetts move on to a different community. And according to those who support the removal of Leggett, Skagway will lose a police chief with no police certification and a history of making inappropriate remarks.
Because I’m forced to faithfully and frequently follow Facebook as part of my job, I expected the Nov. 5 meeting to be dramatic. The mayor, Andrew Cremata, along with several assembly members who don’t regularly partake in Mark Zuckerberg’s double-edged invention, might have been a little surprised.
According to Cremata, not one person called him or came into his office to discuss the matter. Only one letter to the assembly addressed Leggett’s resignation. A petition to reinstate Leggett, with about 40 signatures, has yet to be delivered to City Hall.
Shortly after Leggett’s resignation, rumors filtered through town that Fire Chief Joe Rau would be next to get called into the manager’s office and lose his livelihood. Cremata says that as far as he is concerned, Rau is performing his duties well.
In the absence of information (the muni won’t comment on human resource issues and Leggett has made few public statements) a vacuum has appeared which Skagwegians are filling with “facts” that aren’t attributable.
Our local government only works when communication between citizens, elected leaders and borough employees is intact.
In a town this small, you don’t have to be a reporter to meet with local officials. See the contact information below for opportunities to air grievances and ask questions.
With Skagway’s future so precarious, now is the time to attend assembly and finance meetings and read both the mayor and borough manager’s bi-monthly reports which can be found at skagway.org under meetings/view details. https://www.skagway.org/bc-ba/page/assembly-whole-committee-15
While Borough Clerk Emily Deach doesn’t interpret municipal code, she can point interested parties to relevant sources, answer questions about open meeting laws and miraculously perform other clerkish duties.
When all is said and done, we may not agree with the borough’s decision, but at least we’ll understand how we got there.
Mayor Andrew Cremata
Monday, 4-6 p.m.
Wednesday, 4-5 p.m.
Assmblymember Sam Bass
Parks & Recreation
Borough Clerk Emily Deach firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Rodig email@example.com,