Local News

Busy Assembly: Tuesday marks third meeting in a week

The Sitka Assembly has a busy week ahead.

Members meet at 5 p.m. Monday inside Harrigan Centennial Hall to receive an update on the Blue Lake hydroelectric expansion. It is the largest public works project in city history, and Assembly members have been receiving regular updates. The work session was scheduled before a worker was seriously injured at the construction site last week.

On Tuesday, the Assembly meets in regular session. Agenda items include a $1.2 million contract to build the Sitka Sea Walk. The project is a walkway that stretches from Centennial Hall to Sitka National Historical Park. Funding comes from a tax assessed on cruise passengers.

The Assembly also will make a final decision on a ballot question that could extend Sitka’s seasonal sales tax for two years beyond its current sunset date. If approved Tuesday night, the measure will appear on October’s ballot. It would then be up to Sitka voters whether to continue the city’s extra 1 percent sales tax until the year 2024.

Personnel complaint
Sitka Mayor Mim McConnell said today that she can’t release any information about a personnel complaint reviewed by the Assembly on Saturday.

Back in February, the Assembly hired Anchorage attorney Sara Heideman to look into a complaint against someone who works for the city. McConnell declined to identify who the complaint was filed against, or what it was about. But she did say it was a personnel issue.

Assembly members received the results of Heideman’s investigation during a closed-door meeting Saturday afternoon. The Assembly can meet privately, in what’s known as “executive session,” for a variety of reasons. In this case, they cited exceptions to the open meetings act for pending legal matters, and for subjects which, if made immediately public, could harm city finances.

McConnell, reached by phone on Monday morning, said the issue is likely to appear on the Assembly’s March 26 agenda. The deadline for tomorrow’s agenda has already passed and McConnell, plus Assembly member Pete Esquiro, are out of town this week.

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