First up was the Talkeetna Water and Sewer increase. With only 188 users on the system there is a struggle to continue the service that operates in the red. Not too many fireworks here and in the end Halter was able to buy some more time for the northern folks by postponing a decision until December 20th. Ah another kicking tin can. Staff is instructed to come back with some suggestions for balancing the books that probably doesn't include more costs to users. Someone up the order of fairy dust.
Remember that tin can disguised as a Tower Ordinance requested by the OTHER Assembly that has been kicked down the road since 2007 with working groups, hours of public and industry input, staff work, paid consultants, and no shortage of opinions? Hope you didn't get too attached. And they say towers don't fall down. This one did.
The ham radio operators turned up the heat in the room with passionate testimony about the service they provide and the "why are you picking on us with these big guys" and they were quickly plucked out of the ordinance that was already gasping for air. There was more testimony from a lawyer/ representative from GCI and members of the working group appreciating the process and still hoping for a little more time or tweeking at the table before passage. Assembly member Colligan was "boiling mad with this crap" and this "damn over regulated" stuff and was happy to share his feelings about how "view shed doesn't have a right" and he would like to "vote to get rid of the thing right now". Alrighty then! Post haste those long arms from China (Arvin) seized the moment to offer a series of motions and amendments to put the carving knife in the tower ordinance. Colored that done. NO more tower ordinance in the borough at all. The only regulations are what the feds that we love to hate impose. No local control or more importantly public notice for towers, their size, set backs or appearance what so ever. The only one more relieved than the industry big guns that left the room shaking their heads was assembly member Colver that was able to rejoin the horseshoe after successfully being able to recluse himself from the discussion.
Musical chairs continued as assembly member Colligan was able to avoid being boiling mad again and recluse himself from the next discussion on changes to the noise ordinance. Model airplane enthusiast lined up to successfully support their guy assemblyman Woods in shepherding that roll back. No waste no haste in trying to find any middle ground here either.
Sometimes all the real fun comes at the end with comments from the horseshoe when ego's get up for a real seventh inning stretch. Salmon having a new stint sitting in a chair not designated for the mayor (in case you were sleeping was a former MSB mayor) was "excited about the direction of the borough being open for business" which seems to be a required mantra for every meeting much like the pledge. Halter seemed to be in a bit of befuddlement and "didn't know what to think about the tower ordinance" defeat. Woods was simply giddy about model airplanes. Colver was quite spun up about regional port authorities after a recent trip to Georgia where it turns out is the home to more than hoop skirts. Colligan was still apparently boiling mad about towers and getting down the road of the previous assembly with a noise ordinance and both being "hideous" and "legal bullshit". Arvin shared his continuing apparition to undo ordinances and codes brought about by "emotional factors".
Mayor Devilbiss who is making the radio talk show circuit this week ended the comments by cheering on the assembly for being "bold" and working well together. Quite happy with the way the last shovel of dirt was spread over the tower ordinance to kill the "California zoning" concept. Although not boiling mad, not a fan of view sheds either. Apparently when you start recommending view sheds and set backs there is no going back and trees are next.
The eye rolling and chair squirming hit its peak when it was announced that cell phones and texting by assembly members at the horseshoe with the concern about the open meetings act will be tackled by Keough as part of the simmering legislation the mayor advises he is bringing forth to address "standard rules and procedures" of the meeting process. You know this and that plus taking a look at that pesky public hearings issue so we can "condense meetings to make them as short as possible".
So much fun was had by this all boys club they get together twice this week. Thursday brings on mandatory land use and flood plain reduction. Really can you stand the fun?