Okay all you patrons of “Citizen Lobbyist” for the greater good, the holiday break is about to be over. It’s time for your cliff notes for the next Assembly meeting Tuesday, January 17th @ 6pm. Packet won’t be out for a few days but here is the warm up to get you in the mood from the “introductions” and what should appear under “unfinished business”.
Got ethics? Kicked down the road, this is a whopper piece of unfinished business and is bouncing back from the sparsely populated ethics board due to requested changes made by the Assembly, and should be the first item in unfinished business of the night’s agenda.
We ask you. Can an issue that determines the moral and practical philosophy of our Borough get any more important? This should be an opportunity to redraft the existing dated code to a foundation that would save taxpayers money, time and frustration. However, you don’t have to read tea leaves to believe that the majority of this Assembly will not have an appetite for anything other than kicking it a few more times and trying to put the issue to rest with some watered down version that mirrors an already weak and challenged state code. That kind of pointy boot punt in the rear end creates more problems than it solves. It remains to be seen if more public testimony is allowed, but it’s not too late for you to email your Assembly your thoughts. Without input, the fate of any ethics code could end up in the ordinance bone yard keeping the tower ordinance company. Remember the tower ordinance? Hmmm..most residents don’t even know its in the bone yard. They will though when the 300’ tower goes up next door.
“Please Zamboni me” ordinance-12-001 appropriates $30,000 along with some left over monies from some other tourism building repairs that came in under budget from the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau fund. They want to use the money for replacement of a zamboni ice buffer for Brett Ice Arena. Important to note here: Tourism collects nearly a million bucks a year for our Borough in bed tax by way of taxing themselves, which is not the norm for any other industry in the Borough. This is important to remember as we travel down the road to the budget.
“Sit down and WE WILL tell you when to speak” ordinance- 2.12.090. The hits just keep on coming by the ceremonial Mayor and some Assembly members that seem to now have the Borough Manager doing their bidding to pass yet another ordinance to change the way public comment is received at public meetings. This gem sets a maximum time limit of one hour for public participation with an OPTION of a time certain where more than an hour of public comment is heard per ordinance. Changing the way the public weighs in on Borough business by the Assembly and manipulating the agenda has been under constant revision since the swearing in of this ceremonial Mayor. Perhaps we should suggest another hobby other than public process gerrymandering for Mr. Mayor.
Showing some love for the Sutton Library” ordinance-12-003.The friends of the Sutton Library have done an amazing job of raising donations to contribute to the building of a much needed new library and community center for the area. This ordinance transfers a big fat donation of $60,000 that was raised by the Friends of Sutton Library for fencing and children’s benches among other things to assist in the completion of the facility. This is an example of the way communities should work to support the important projects. Let’s hope it gets a green flag and not that some political grandstander at the horseshoe steps into muck it up.
Your Assembly take their seats early (maybe even from China via skype ) by meeting before the regular meeting by what’s become an all too regular spot for a special 4pm meeting. The Assembly will take another stab at the “procurement code” that Assembly members Colver and Arvin keep complaining needs some sprucing up. Now aren’t they just the guys with the paint can and brush? This is a continuation from a meeting on the same subject at the end of last year that mostly consisted of staff instructing Assembly members how the procurement process works. See earlier CL posting “Assembly doing their duty despite fa la la time of year” of December 15th. There will be much more slipped into the finished packet including the consent agenda and introductions for the upcoming Feb 7th regular assembly meeting. So we’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, thanks to Radio Free Palmer, the audio recorded by the Borough of the December 29th Assembly Planning Session can be accessed at their site to keep your skills as sharp as your watchdog eye teeth. And while you’re at the RFP site hit the “donation button” and give up some greenbacks to support the efforts of our community radio station. Streaming and podcasting all the regular borough assembly and school board meetings is a huge service this non-profit provides to our area and deserves to be at the top of your list of monetary support vehicles. You should have clicked, picked and given to RFP when you filed for your PFD, but here’s your opportunity to do so again. Besides, Radio Free Palmer provides a standing invitation to Citizen Lobbyist every Wednesday 8:30am to share the microphone and get the word out on what’s happening in local government. You can listen at 89.5 FM in the Palmer, Sutton area or stream it live from their website from anywhere in the country..heck there are some regular listeners as far away as Florida that would rather listen than run through the sand or local strip mall. So tune in.
Most of all remember to practice your CL New Year’s Resolutions. Throw on your parka and come warm a chair at the January 17th Assembly meeting at 6pm! These cowboys need a tight coral and you’re just the folk sitting high in their saddle that can keep em’ from mowing more of the fence posts down.