Local News

Sitka ordinance at center of lawsuit could change

The Sitka Assembly tonight will consider whether to soften the say residents have in the how Sitka disposes of its assets.

Right now, the city is required to get voter approval for the sale of any municipal property over $500,000, or the lease of anything over $750,000.

A measure proposed tonight would change that from an approval vote to an advisory vote.

The city argues that the public would still have a say, and that changing the code brings it into agreement with a recent Alaska Supreme Court ruling. In a case involving the Kenai Peninsula Borough, justices ruled against an initiative that would’ve required voter approval for any public assets worth over a certain amount of money.

But the issue is also at the heart of a lawsuit against the city of Sitka. Jeff Farvour and Mike Litman, representing the group Sitkans for Responsible Government, want a public vote for the disposal of property at Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. The park is the only part of Sitka where that’s not already required.

The city has fought their initiative since they first brought it in 2008. The case was recently rejuvenated when the Alaska Supreme Court ruled against the city, and sent the case back to Sitka court for reconsideration.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. Raven Radio will carry it live.





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