THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
August 10, 1998
MEETING NO. 98-29: The Special meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building, was called to order at 12:00 noon by Mayor Dennis Egan.
Assembly Present: Garrett, Kibby, MacKinnon, Perkins, Powell, Egan, Hagevig, Muñoz, and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: none
A quorum was present.
Staff Present: Marian Miller, Municipal Clerk; Donna Pierce, Assistant City Manager; Barbara Craver, Assistant City Attorney
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALAKSA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY AND BOROUGH TO ISSUE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF NOT TO EXCEED $55,500,000 TO FINANCE THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HIGH SCHOOL, TO PARTIALLY DESIGN RELATED COMMUNITY FACILITIES, AND PROVIDING FOR THE SUBMISSION TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY AND BOROUGH AT THE ELECTION TO BE HELD THEREIN ON OCTOBER 6, 1998, OF PROPOSITIONS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE CITY AND BOROUGH SHOULD INCUR SUCH INDEBTEDNESS AND ISSUE SUCH BONDS FOR SUCH PURPOSES, AS TO WHETHER THE CITY AND BOROUGH SHOULD LEVY A TEMPORARY ONE PERCENT SALES TAX TO PAY PART OF THE DEBT SERVICE ON THE BONDS AND, AS TO WHETHER THE CITY AND BOROUGH SHOULD EXTEND SUCH SALES TAX TO PAY THE COST OF PARKS AND HARBORS IMPROVEMENTS.
Mr. Garrett requested the removal of item A-1.
Staff Report: Ms. Pierce said the question before the Assembly was whether the Assembly would like to supplement what is seen in the ordinance. The language for the propositions themselves would appear on the ballot with an explanation. She said this was an exceptionally complex ballot and staff had worked on it extensively with council in an effort to get it as clear and accurate as possible. There was the option of adding additional language to the ballot and if the Assembly would like that done, staff could work on it and provide draft language at the August 17 meeting when the ordinance would be up for public hearing.
Mayor Egan wanted to make sure the ballot was in laymen’s terms so that it would be easy for the public to understand. He suggested incorporating the staff report.
Ms. Hagevig said she would like more clarity in the language on the ballot. There had been discussion already about the bond council’s recommendation not to have specific language with respect to the configuration of the different school buildings. She felt, some place official, that information had to be included as the clear intent of this body in putting this issue on the ballot.
Ms. Piece said the other forum, which is not as official as what is on the ballot, is the Voter Information published by the city. She knew that Superintendent Rubadeau was trying to schedule a leadership team meeting for discussion. She said if the Assembly would like it to appear in the ballot, then that was possible. It was in the ordinance. There was discussion with bond council if at some future time they decide it be reconfigured, should it then appear in the ordinance and council thought it would be better to have it more general.
Ms. Hagevig understood the complexity of the issues but wanted to make sure that the voters knew exactly what it was that the Assembly had in mind in putting this on the ballot. She felt it was a key component of the process that the Assembly had been through so far with a lot of input from the public. She thought it would be one of the things that people would be considering when deciding on how they stood on this particular issue on the ballot.
MOTION - by Garrett, to adopt ordinance 98-30 and he requested that staff re-introduce the ordinance and that staff prepare the additional language for consideration by the Assembly at the meeting on the 17th.
Ms. Pierce clarified that would be for each one of the propositions and Mr. Garrett indicated yes.
Ms. Muñoz asked if any of the current temporary sales taxes would be expiring. Ms. Pierce said the current one- percent for the police station would expire on September 30, 1998. The three- percent does not expire until 2001. Ms. Muñoz asked if both propositions were approved, would the total tax be 6- percent. Ms. Pierce said no, one percent for a longer term. Ms. Muñoz asked if the recreational package were approved, would it be six percent. Ms. Pierce said no, only five percent, it would never go above five percent.
Mr. Perkins said that was what was confusing about how it was currently written. He reiterated that it must be easy to understand and clear that it would not go over five percent.
Ms. Hagevig requested that at the next meeting there be an expert opinion from the Attorney’s Office on how rigidly the Assembly and School Board pay attention to whatever language is on the ballot, in the future applications, if this should pass. Should the School Board decide that they want to reconfigure at a later time or reconfigure even before the building was built, what kind of remedy would be required in order to give them that kind of flexibility. Ms. Pierce said they asked bond council that question and her bias was that if the School Board and the Assembly believe that they may reconfigure at a future time, it would be better to leave that specificity out of the ordinance. The explanation can have more intent language in it but she would need to check with bond council to make sure. In the Voter Information, there could be discussion about intent. It is a contract with the voters and if it is specific, then it is a specific contract.
Ms. Craver said the impression from conversation with bond council was that it might not be such a strict legal requirement but it is definitely a political consideration and that people may regard it as a commitment.
Ms. Pierce stated staff was not proposing a re-write unless there was something that really needed to change. Bond council has approved this so the proposition language would not change. There would be additional language to clarify. Mr. Powell said there were times when things could be highlighted. The fact that there would not be an increase in the sales tax should be front and center in bold.
There being no objecting to the motion, it was so ordered.
Marian Miller, Clerk