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.





Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Health Summit awards $2000 to community garden, food non-profit

The Sitka Health Summit held it’s 10th annual Planning Day on Friday (10-21-16). The crowd of 75 gathered at University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to brainstorm wellness initiatives and through a blind vote, chose two projects with direct ties to food. more

Three bears shot and killed in Sitka neighborhood

A tranquilized bear and cub. (Alaska Department of Fish & Game photo.
Wildlife troopers shot and killed a brown bear sow and her two cubs in a Sitka neighborhood late this week (10/20/16). While it’s not the first report of an aggressive bear near downtown, the three were the first animals destroyed this year for public safety. Downloadable audio. more