THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
JANUARY 24, 2000
MEETING NO. 2000-02: The Regular meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building, was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Egan.
Assembly Present: Garrett, Etheridge, MacKinnon, Perkins, Powell, Egan, Pillifant, Muñoz and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: None
A quorum was present.
Staff Present: Dave Palmer, City Manager; John Corso, City Attorney; Donna Pierce, Deputy City Attorney; Craig Duncan, Director Finance; Kim Kiefer, Parks & Rec. Director; Allan Heese, Acting Airport Manager; Joe Graham, Port Director; Cheryl Easterwood, CDD Director; Ernie Mueller, Public Works Director. Laurie Logsdon, You’re the BOSS, represented the City Clerk.
1. 12/06/99 - Regular Meeting No. 99-36
MOTION - by Koelsch, to approve the minutes of Regular Meeting No. 99-36, held December 6, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS - None
Mr. Palmer referred to Mr. Gilbertson’s recommendations and requested that Ordinance 2000-02 be pulled from the agenda for discussion under Manager’s Action Item.
MOTION – by Perkins, to remove Ordinance 2000-02 from the Consent Agenda.
FRIENDLY AMENDMENT – by Powell, to accept the recommendations.
Mr. Powell would make the recommendation under the Manager’s Report. Ms. Munoz asked for time to reflect on the memo from Mr. Gilbertson and his recommendations. She suggested it go to a committee with the recommendations. There being no objection to that direction, it was so ordered.
Joe Sonneman, referred to his previous testimony about the concept of closing the port one day a week; it was his understanding the TAC had formed a Voluntary Restraint Subcommittee. He said he had spoken to a few business people in Southeast and at least two, one in Juneau and one in Skagway, actually liked having Saturdays off. One person said they would like two days off. The concept of having one day off is not a complete answer, but he thought it was a good start. Some other components to combine with that would be to have an annual limit of 500,000 cruise ship passengers and a daily limit of 5,000 cruises ship passengers. He hoped that the Assembly would take action soon so the industry would have time to adjust.
Ethan Billings, P.O. Box 21877, Juneau; co-owner of Marlintinie’s Lounge. He referred to his testimony last March regarding daylight savings time and the hour that is lost for sales. He asked if there had been any decisions made on that issue.
Ms. Munoz said the Charter prevents the Assembly from changing time zones. Mr. Billings said he received the "facts" of the National Law from Mr. Corso, stating that everyone has to observe the time change at 2:00 a.m. His request was based on operating hours for liquor and how late it can be sold on a Saturday night, which is 3:00 a.m. If there was an exemption to the Charter stating certain exemptions for bar hours, that could change and not affect the time change law. Ms. Munoz asked if any change like that would require a vote of the people. Mr. Corso said it would only require a change in the operating hours of liquor establishments as provided in the Health and Sanitation Code.
Jon Carter, Director of DIPAC. He requested the Assembly’s support, possibly in the form of a resolution. The Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association has proposed to the Board of Fish, to be considered at a meeting in Sitka beginning February 13, three actions that would be very detrimental to DIPAC and could possibly put DIPAC out of business. The proposals would reduce production approximately 60% for chum salmon in particular. Secondly, they would reduce their cost recovery ability down to 10% of the run, or no cost recovery at all. Their purpose is that they are struggling with their fisheries up there and they are basically striking out at others who are having some success. He said this would penalize all the hatcheries in Southeast and would penalize DIPAC the worst. All the fisherman organizations and many of the city and other organizations are already responding with testimony or letters and he said he would appreciate it if the CBJ would do likewise. He said City of Ketchikan and the Chamber of Commerce had passed a resolution, and he was told that Petersburg was working on one. Sitka’s City Manager had been directed to be at the Board of Fish meeting to testify in support of the hatcheries.
Mr. Perkins asked for copies of what the other communities had presented. Mr. Carter said he would provide the manager with a draft resolution, which was the one the City of Ketchikan used.
Mr. MacKinnon asked how long the meeting would last. Mr. Carter said the meetings go on about 10-12 days. They have said they will not take action on these proposals until the March meeting in Anchorage, but all the testimony would be taken in Sitka. Mr. MacKinnon clarified that no testimony would be taken in Anchorage. Mr. Carter said he has been to several Board of Fish meetings on these issues in which they thought it had become a non-item and that it was not going to receive any action. It seems to continue to move so he did not want to say whether or not they would accept testimony in Anchorage; only that they would take no action until Anchorage.
Mayor Egan asked if this was the same issue that was discussed last year when there were concerns from the Bering Sea processors and the community of Kodiak. Mr. Carter indicated it was the same issue, although it was now proposed by a different group. Initially it did not appear to have a lot of momentum behind it. There have also been two statewide hatchery quorums in which the processors all came and said they needed the fish, it was important to them and so forth. He thought the reason it kept bringing its head back up was because they were having such great trouble on the Yukon Kuskokwim Rivers with their fisheries so maybe if they did away with chum salmon down here, they may see more value to their chum salmon.
Mayor Egan asked if a letter from the Assembly would hold just as much weight as a resolution, considering the timeline. Mr. Carter thought at this point, anything would be appreciated and he said the stronger the better. He was not sure why they were giving so much weight to the issue the way it is and said there was a preponderance of evidence against these proposals.
MOTION - by Garrett, to adopt the Consent Agenda, deleting item A-1 per the Manager’s request, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A. Ordinances for Introduction
2. Ordinance No. 2000-03
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SALES TAX CODE TO REPEAL THE EXEMPTION FOR SALES OR RENTALS TO OR BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS AND SALES OR RENTALS BY THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular Assembly meeting.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ANIMAL CONTROL FINE SCHEDULE TO INCREASE THE FINES FOR THE OFFENSE OF "OBJECTIONABLE ANIMAL."
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular Assembly meeting.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $950,000 FOR REPAIRS AND UPGRADES TO THE STEAMSHIP WHARF. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE PORT FUND UNRESERVED FUND BALANCE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular Assembly meeting.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $3,000 FOR AN OPERATING GRANT TO FRIENDS OF RECYCLING. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE WASTE MANAGEMENT FUND RETAINED EARNINGS.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MANAGER TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR A LOAN FROM THE ALASKA CLEAN WATER FUND AND DESIGNATING THE MANNER OF ACCEPTING AND MANAGING THE LOAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY WASTEWATER COLLECTION TO NORTH DOUGLAS.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE PERSONNEL RULES TO ALLOW AN EMPLOYEE TO TAKE LEAVE WITHOUT PAY BEFORE EXHAUSTING ACCRUED PERSONAL LEAVE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE PERSONNEL RULES TO ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO CASH IN UNUSED PERSONAL LEAVE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
C. Transfer Requests:
Transfers $55,000 from FY97 General Sales Tax from the Essential Building Repairs Capital Project. $50,000 will be transferred to the Zach Gordon Youth Center Men’s Restroom Upgrade Project and $5,000 will be transferred to the Deferred Building Maintenance Project.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended approval of this transfer.
Transfers $280,000 from the Dimond Park Capital Project and $123,000 from the Melvin Park Capital Project to provide $403,000 more for the Adair Kennedy Park Improvement Project.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended approval of this transfer.
Transfers $46,000 in Funding set aside for Streets Reconstruction to the Juneau Areawide Transportation Plan.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended approval of this transfer.
1. Ordinance No. 99-34
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE LAND USE CODE TO ADOPT A MAP SPECIFYING REMOTE SUBDIVISION AREAS, AND TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS FOR PLAT SUBMITTALS, RIGHTS OF WAY AND COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEMS IN SUCH AREAS.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended the ordinance be adopted. His recommendation included adding a new paragraph C which he said followed up on the suggestion by the Lands Committee. Although it does not make the requirement for an easement mandatory in the Planning Commission, it does gives them some latitude to require easements to the extent consistent with topography, existing easements, and need.
Mr. Powell asked if this would be further restricting pedestrian access. Mr. Palmer said the ordinance was one that authorizes the Planning Commission to review and approve subdivisions at a standard that is different than the ones they use in the roaded urban areas. Mr. Powell understood and agreed, but he asked if this goes so far as to say there is not need for any access to some parcels. He wanted the intent language to give the intent for flexibility to the Planning Commission indicating we would like to see access where feasible, where possible, but we are not guaranteed access by this.
Mr. Corso said the subject of access is addressed in a general way on page 1, lines 22-23 and he read that portion of the ordinance. There is access addressed but it is access to lots, not access between lots; the ordinance does not address that issue. Mr. Powell asked if that could be addressed by saying, on line 23, after the word access, "to and between lots". Mr. Corso said that was much the same thing as the recommendation in the Manager’s report. He was not sure what "sufficient and practical" would mean, that does not amount to a requirement to provide access between lots but it does suggest access between lots to the extent practical.
Mr. Powell said on line 22-23, it said "improvements would provide sufficient and practical access". Then looking at the language suggested in (C), it says if you can do it, do it. Mr. Corso said it would require that there be access between lots and if that was not possible, he thought a variance would be required.
Mr. Powell spoke in favor of the language offered in the Manager’s report.
Public Participation: None
MOTION - by Powell, to adopt Ordinance 99-34 with the recommendation that the City Manager has made on his page 9 of the Manager’s Report, (C) as indicated
Mr. Koelsch thought the City Manager has recommended against (C). Mr. Powell said he was recommending for (C), as it reads.
Mr. Koelsch said he would rather see the ordinance passed as a clean ordinance, and then deal with the Shelter Island portion of it. To include (C) for Shelter Island, should be stated and voted on that way instead of trying to make this universal to all. The minutes of the Planning Commission reflect that several members objected to the universal fits all scenario.
FRIENDLY AMENDMENT – by MacKinnon, that the motion be made for the ordinance, separate from the amendment for item (C). Mr. Powell accepted that as a separate amendment.
Mr. MacKinnon spoke in favor of the amendment and said he saw it as something that covers the bases and does not deal just with Shelter Island. There may be instances coming up where it would be nice to have an easement at some other point than the extreme high tide and this does allow the Planning Commission and Planning Department the ability to do that. There are also situations where it may not make sense to have it done that way and without this in there, it does not give the flexibility. It is not specific for Shelter Island and could be used anywhere.
Mr. Garrett said the Lands Committee had overwhelming support for this change and for not doing something specific for Shelter Island. There has been a tradition of avoiding, whenever possible, adoption of non-code ordinances that give specific deviation to a land use policy for one tiny area of the city. Shelter Island brings this problem to light because it is the most developed remote coastal property in Juneau. The extreme high water mark is a more practical line for where the public easement would be and he said he would support the amendment.
Mr. Corso clarified that the amendment was to insert the indented (C) at page 2, line 4, Minor Subdivision, and page 3, line 10, Major Subdivision, of this ordinance.
There being no objection to the amendment, it was so ordered. There being no objection to the passage of ordinance 99-34 as amended, it was so ordered.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE TO IMPOSE A MARINE PASSENGER FEE AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION AND COLLECTION THEREOF.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended the ordinance be adopted. He noted that he and the Attorney had met with representatives from the industry and they tried to include many of the recommendations addressing their concerns without affecting the primary purpose and intent of the ordinance. The only item of disagreement was in the section for Use of Proceeds. He referred to the list on page 9 and said their discussion had been around the word "including". The industry would like the list to be definitive but his recommendation was that "including" means it is a descriptive list and is designed to give direction to the Manager who then prepares a list to the committee that reviews it before it goes to the Assembly. It could say "use of proceeds are limited to any legal use." The Assembly ultimately makes the decision and since it is hard to predict all the needs and come up with a list of everything that could ever be conceived, his recommendation would be to leave the word "including" in there. It gives direction but does not limit the Assembly in the future.
Because there were 10 people signed up to testify, Mayor Egan limited testimony to three minutes.
Gordon Epperly, 10440 Glacier Highway. He read a letter he sent two and a half weeks ago into the record. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Assembly, with interest I watched the January 5, 2000 COW meeting on TV wherein there appeared to be confusion among the members as to what a passenger fee is as provided by the passenger fee initiative. The wording of the initiative creates confusion as it speaks of assessment fees based upon a passenger manifest." He said two articles had been published in the Empire, one person referred to this as a head tax, not a fee. Last night’s paper quoted Mr. Swope talking about a memo from the City Attorney and Mr. Epperly said it appeared to him that the Attorney was not too comfortable with the initiative and he said his letter goes on about litigation concerns. He said the Assembly would have to decide if this would be a tax or a fee. He personally did not believe the initiative met constitutional muster; there are a lot of problems with it. People have been or will be damaged, including merchants and their employees. The city may be facing a class action lawsuit and there might even be one on the way on behalf of the passengers.
Larry Joe Hansen, representing Alaska Sightseeing Cruise West. He said at the COW, they proposed that small cruise lines such as his be exempted from paying the bed tax for the following season and he was heartened that the Assembly would consider this. He said this year, Alaska Sightseeing expects to have 9,000 people coming into Juneau and they will book over 4,000 rooms and eat close to 30,000 meals on shore. The visitors will be arriving on seven different sized small ships, ranging from 54 passenger to 107 passenger. The ships arrive every other day and the most guests they will ever have in one day will be about 214 at one time. The benefits are substantial and the direct benefits in taxes from an overnight guest is very apparent with a 5% sales tax plus a 6% bed tax. The meals are all taxed and all guests either leave or arrive at the airport, paying the $3 facility charge. He said their guests spend more than the average passenger, spending on average $234 while they are here. The pressure to include the overnight in the market is over bearing. Many cruise lines are in a fight to reduce the overall length of their cruise package in order to make it more competitive on the overall world market. Alaska Sightseeing has taken a chance on adding an extra day in Juneau, contrary to market demands. It was a decision that was not taken lightly three years ago but it has been a success and their guests have spent the extra time in Juneau.
John Hansen, President of the Northwest Cruise Ship Association. Their participation in the process of this ordinance has been awkward in that the Association and its members believe that the type of fee that is proposed is unjustified, as a matter of policy, and suspect, as a matter of law. By suggesting that the ordinance can be improved through certain changes, they did not mean to imply that if those changes were made, their more fundamental disagreements would be resolved. They appreciate the city’s willingness to still talk with them about the proposals under these terms. The Association is encouraged by the number of changes that have been proposed to the ordinance, including a provision for a sure and direct Assembly control over each expenditure from the fund. There are other concerns related to the study that is being proposed. With respect to the terms of the ordinance, they know the city has worked very hard to articulate a list of permissible fund projects. It was their view that this carefully selected list is rendered meaningless by saying at the outset that permissible uses of the fund include those listed below, a word that means included but not limited to. It is their view that the list becomes merely a series of advisory suggestions and the ordinance therefore fails to provide the real kind of policy direction and guidance for permissible use of the fund. To assure that this kind of guidance occurs, they believe that section 120 needs to mean something very meaningful. The Association would support an amendment that would strike the word "including" from the introductory language in the section so that the list that follows becomes and inclusive list of eligible projects. If the Assembly then later decides that a different category of expenditure ought to be included, then that would go through the public process of decision making through the amendment of section 120 itself. He concluded that the issue of the nomination process for those that are from the industry itself, should be carefully considered to make sure that people from the industry have an opportunity to participate on the advisory committee, much the same way that the Docks and Harbors Board member has identified in the ordinance.
Mr. Perkins asked if he had a summary of the concerns with the consultant survey, which would be addressed in the next ordinance. Mr. Hansen said their concern was that a study of this kind ought to take into account the revenues gained by the city as well as the costs that are incurred. From what he sees in the agenda item notes, the revised plan may be to include that and he said that would alleviate their concerns.
Ms. Pillifant asked what other communities he had worked with in helping craft this kind of language. Mr. Hansen said there were no other communities that have proposed this kind of ordinance so they have not worked with any other ordinance in crafting a passenger fee. Ms. Pillifant clarified he had been working with Mr. Palmer and Mr. Corso. Mr. Hansen said it had been he and other colleagues who represent the cruise lines; he works for the Association.
Rod Swope, 954 Goldbelt, speaking on behalf of Destination Juneau. He commended the Assembly on the work that they had done on this and the difficulty of working on both sides of the issue. The ordinance today is a lot better piece of work than it was when it was first introduced and he said it was critical that the Assembly follows the advice of the attorney. A lot of people were concerned about legal issues and he said the last thing we want is to get into litigation. We do not want a messy legal case, it is bad publicity for Juneau and for Juneau’s representatives, and it could be very costly to the taxpayers. It also would not improve our relationship with the cruise ship industry, which he felt may already be in trouble. The city may end up paying more in legal fees than it would ever see in passenger fee revenue.
Mr. Powell asked if Destination Juneau supported the ordinance as presented. Mr. Swope thought so, with one exception, and that would be to allow the industry to recommend their appointments on the review committee. He felt they would know best who would represent their interest and they should make that recommendation to the Assembly. There were other things they would like to see changed but he thought pretty much the way it was, with the exception of the word "including" which he would like to see changed, they could support it.
Larry Dupler, 8500 Evergreen Park Road. He said his comments had been addresses by previous testimony so he passed his time off and asked the Assembly to consider a little bit of support for the cruise ship industry because financially they may be a big asset to us in the future.
Margo Waring, 1215 5th Street, Douglas. She voted for the head tax to mitigate the impacts of mass tourism on the community, not to create more spending on facilities for this industry. The Assembly’s job is to carry out the will of those people who voted for this tax. We do not need a spending board composed of a majority of people who voted against the tax and we do not need audits. We need the Assembly to do its job and implement the head tax and spend it as a general fund on the many needs in this community, whether it is monitoring cruise ship emissions, building trails, or funding health services. She did not want to be back here or in the legislature listening to another industry trying to move, for example, that we spend alcohol taxes on remodeling bars. She felt that was the equivalent of what the Assembly was being asked to do now.
Dennis Harris, 352 Distin Avenue. He mentioned two cases that were mentioned in Mr. Corso’s memo and urged all Assemblymembers to read them before voting on this ordinance. He cited Evansville Vandenburg Airport Authority vs. Delta Airlines, Inc., 405-US-707 from 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court. The second U.S. Supreme case was Commonwealth Edison vs. Montana, 453-US-609 from 1981 which Ms. Vogt discussed at length in her My Turn article. This ordinance is not a violation of the commerce clause; that is explicitly stated in the Commonwealth Edison case. Other communities do indeed charge this type of fee, especially those in Florida and Long Beach, California. The fee is explicitly allowed and the exemptions are okay according to the Evansville case. The Corso memo refers to a tax, and Mr. Epperly is also confused, this is a passenger fee, it says in the ordinance and they should stop calling it a tax. It does not have to be dedicated to marine uses. In the Evansville case, the Supreme Court said "Appellants argue that the statute on its face belies any legislative intent to impose an exaction based solely on use because only 50% of this revenue is allocated to the state aeronautical fund, while the remaining 50% is allocated to the municipalities and airport authorities owning the landing areas in which the fees were imposed in the form of unrestricted general revenues." The court goes on to say that is all right. This is not the enabling language required by our initiative. We do not need another committee to do the Assembly’s job, especially one that is dominated by the industry. We do not need you to tell the committee what this money can be spent on. This circumvents the intent of those who worked on this ordinance, as does Mr. Garrett’s room tax amendment, which he is trying to impose after the deadline for changing it. This vote is a vote about who controls this industry, an industry which has demonstrated time and time again that we cannot and should not trust it. The voters did not expect an ordinance like this, drafted in private meetings between the industry attorney, industry representatives, Mr. Corso and the Manager. This contravenes the intent of the voters. If this is passed, he guaranteed that the people who worked on this initiative would put it on a referendum and let the voters vote on it.
Kim Metclafe-Helmar, 730 Gold Street. Testified that if the industry gets to recommend appointments for the industry members, she would like to volunteer to recommend appointments for the public members. She objected to establishing a committee to recommend expenditures. The Assembly Finance Committee should be able to figure out how to spend the money without being told how to do so by a committee. She especially objected to two industry members because if you add one public member who is pro-industry, there would be a stacked committee and she is tired of committees that are stacked; that was the way to lose the public trust. She also would like it not to be limited to a certain list of items because there are so many ways to spend this passenger fee such as air quality, search and rescue and many other things that do not benefit the industry.
Bill Zentner, 304 St. Ann’s Avenue, Douglas. He did not vote for the fee to be used by and for the cruise ship people. He voted it to be used for the people in Juneau. He testified against the formation of the committee to allocate the funds and said committees tend to remove, or be removed from the public. The Assembly is much closer to the public for input and they are perfectly capable of allocating these funds.
Larry Spencer, 336 Highland Drive. Testified as a downtown resident and business owner. He said in 1984 his partners invested over $1M of equity money into the Senate Building, which really launched the beginning of a festive market place in downtown. It is not unlike Pike Street Market or other ones around the country. Juneau does not have big box stores or malls, we have a festive market place. Festive market places depend upon tourism to make them successful. He thanked the Assembly for defining an ordinance that in its present format and following the advice and opinions of the City Attorney would hopefully avoid long-term litigation with the cruise and tourism industry, an industry that the Juneau economy depends upon. It is one of our only real legs of expansion in our economy and with contraction in other sectors, it is important to keep some portion of our economy viable. He recommended that the Assembly seriously consider the recommendation to eliminate the language saying "including" and insert instead "shall be limited to". We have had the unique opportunity of a public process with great scrutiny by a variety of tourism local merchants, neighborhood, and tax advocates. He could think of no better opportunity than to define the uses of the fund in an ordinance and if it is found to be too limited, the ordinance could be changed after substantial debate in a public hearing process. It is best to have a set of ground rules going in so we don’t have pitched battles with every allocation that comes up in the future. The idea that the Assembly is not guided by other committees that recommend expenditures, we have a Parks and Rec. Committee, a Harbor Board, a Hospital Board, a School Board, and an Airport Board and countless other boards and committees that recommends expenditures to the Assembly. In the end, the Assembly has to be the one overall policy body to decide which expenditures are legitimate, hold the public hearing and go through the budget process.
Mr. Garrett asked him what sort of increase, since 1984, there had been in some of the square footage rents for the Senate Building. Mr. Spencer said the square footage rental had actually diminished slightly in those years because there was a lot of vacant land in downtown, which allowed vacant, underutilized buildings, and empty lots to be developed. The rents have been sufficient to provide a bare return on that investment. By the laws of economics, other areas will develop as long as there is vacant land from here all the way down to the Princess Dock and probably eventually all the way over to the Subport area. That would create a substantial increase in the year round tax base and that is probably how it should be.
Mr. Garrett asked the impact on that economic structure if there was one day a week with no business transacted. Mr. Spencer thought it a mistake to declare an empty day downtown. We have seen what happens during the empty days from September 30th to May 1st. Except for the ability to stimulate interest in the Gallery Walk evening, we have no retail function but a festive market place in the downtown area. It would force a concentration of more tourism on the remaining days of the week and probably have a greater negative impact in people’s minds. He said with regard to the idea that there is excessive congestion in the downtown area, downtown is a commercial zone and what’s going on there is exactly what should be happening in a busy commercial zone. Why idle the capacity of the infrastructure of the private and public sector.
Judy Crondahl, 626 5th Street. As an owner of a Bed and Breakfast, they have people who would love to come downtown when there are not 5,000 – 10,000 cruise ship passengers on the street. By definition they are people who seek out less crowded places and they will stay away from downtown when it is overly crowded. We have been told year after year of the benefits the cruise industry provides in Juneau: the economic stimulation, the extra jobs provided, etc. She wanted to address the fact that if we have extra jobs in town because of the cruise industry, that means we have people here working for the cruise industry who probably use the services of the CBJ in many different ways. They probably build houses, use the services of the Planning Department, probably have children and send them to school, they probably use the trails. In the off season when they are perhaps unemployed, they may even use the social services agencies of our CBJ more than other people. She suggested that anything having to do with general fund expenditures for the CBJ is a legitimate use of this passenger fee. If the cruise industry can say it is good for Juneau because it provides extra employment, it cannot on the other hand say all revenues from the passenger fee have to be spent on the cruise industry because the cruise industry permeates the town in a lot of different ways and we have to remember that when we are allocating funds. She thought it was awful to specify what this money could be used for and if you are going to limit what it can be used for, you better add legal suits by the industry. If they are going to threaten a legal suit at every turn, which they do at every opportunity, then that better be another use. She said 70% of the voters voted for this and she asked why weren’t 70% of the people on the proposed committee in favor of the tax. There was a majority of the voters in the last election who voted for a person who was in favor of the tax. What this does is slap the face of the voters who elected you.
B R E A K
8:15 p.m. – 8:25 p.m.
MOTION - by Garrett of Ordinance 2000-01, for the purpose of discussion.
Mr. Garrett referred to page 9, line 11, the new italicized section that says "services provided and made available to" and he asked what that meant. Mr. Corso said those words were added at the suggestion of the Finance Director, Craig Duncan, who wanted to make sure that the theoretical basis for the proposed cost analysis, the next item on the agenda, was addressed in the ordinance on the supposition that it is not necessary to actually deliver a service to a person paying a fee, it is simply to make it available. He gave the example of ambulance service and said it was a legitimate charge whether someone actually gets carried away; just having it available. Mr. Garrett asked to what extent that goes; what limits availability. Mr. Corso said presumably, the charge would be for something the cruise ship passengers use. Just having it available to them is good enough for purposes of charging them for it. Mr. Garrett thought that would seem to render moot the entire remainder of the list since that is a fairly broad definition. Mr. Corso said it would still be services made available as a result of marine passenger ships and marine passengers; what is made available is necessary because of impacts of cruise ships.
Mr. Garrett referred to page 5 and 6, where there were a number of procedures outlined regarding confidentiality of passenger manifests. He said he still had not figured out why we want to keep confidential the name of a vessel and the number of people on board for which a fee was paid, which is the full extent of the manifest as defined in the ordinance. Mr. Corso was in agreement and said the only reason left for confidentiality was in the event that the auditor had in fact secured the names of the passengers. In that case, the requirement for confidentiality would apply, but most of the time it would not.
AMENDMENT - by Garrett, on page 5, line 17, deleting "required to be filed with" and inserting in its place " obtained during the course of an audit by the CBJ under this chapter."
Mr. Garrett felt that would recognize the change that was made to the definition earlier. Mr. Powell asked why the confidentiality clause was included at all. Mr. Corso said it was a concern of the industry that the privacy interests of the passengers should be protected.
There being no objection to the amendment, it was so ordered.
AMENDMENT – by Garrett, on page 3, line 18 and 19, define a visit as "an entry into the port of the CBJ more than 48 hours before or after another entry by the same ship, excluding visits for emergency purposes".
Ms. Pillifant asked where the 48 hour figure came from. Mr. Garrett said it was the industry’s pattern at the moment to sell seven day, six night cruises in Southeast Alaska which meant it was pretty unlikely that you would ever have a given ship making two revenue calls within two days of itself. There needed to be some number there and he felt 48 hours was reasonable.
Mr. Palmer said it seemed if a ship were based in Juneau and making a trip from Juneau out and back, and they made a 24-hour turnaround, they would be exempt. Mr. Corso shared the manager’s concern for legal reasons. He said he was not familiar enough with local schedules to say, but if this definition would tend to exclude all local trips from paying the fee, the net result might be to discriminate against interstate commerce.
Mr. Powell asked if there was any relationship on page 4, lines 18-20, with this amendment. Mr. Corso said nothing came to mind but he asked for time to think about it.
Ms. Pillifant asked if a visit could just mean an entry into any port of the CBJ excluding visits for emergency purposes. Mr. Corso said the shorter the number of hours, the less likely they are to generate a commerce cause problem. But, you do want to exempt very small operators on day cruises and the like, those who are permanently based in the port and do no need to support it with fees. Ms. Pillifant clarified this was to deal with Juneau home-ported vessels. Mr. Corso cautioned about exempting local traffic from paying the fee, making sure it is charged to everyone who uses the service.
Mr. Garrett said there has to be some threshold and he did not see that 48 or 24 hours made any difference; 24 hours would be fine. His primary interest was that vessels were not making decisions not to make emergency calls because of fee assessments.
Mr. Garrett restated his AMENDMENT, on line 18 insert the number "24" in the blank, and on line 19, at the end of the sentence, insert a comma and say "excluding visits for emergency purposes." There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION - by Koelsch on page 10, line 1 and 7, capitalize Assembly.
Mr. Corso said this is an old habit in the City and Borough code due to the fact that the Charter does not capitalize Assembly. It is of no legal significance, if stylistic consistency is of any concern then it should stay lower case. Mr. Koelsch wanted it capitalized if it referred to the CBJ Assembly. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Koelsch on page 9, line 5, referring to the fund, when referring to this fund leave it lower case, when it refers to the fund, he wanted it capitalized. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Mr. Corso said he would capitalize it anywhere else it occurred in the ordinance.
Mr. Koelsch asked where it talked about emergency ship visits caused by accidents or forces of nature. If there is a severe storm and a ship has to be put in here, he did not want them even to think twice about it. Mr. Corso thought Mr. Garrett’s amendment would address that.
Ms. Munoz asked how it was anticipated that funds would be remitted to the city. She hoped it would use the existing monthly tax reporting system already in place, and not create another mini-bureaucracy for the collection of this tax. Mr. Palmer said the ordinance sets out a provision where by the cruise ship provides a list of how many people are on each cruise and within 60 days after the visit, they will send a check. Ms. Munoz wanted to be sure that they would not have to write a check ever day 60 days after the first visit, as it may imply in the ordinance. Mr. Palmer said the ordinance would allow for the writing of regulations and that may need to be made clear in those regulation.
Ms. Munoz asked how it was being handled in Florida. Mr. Corso said he made several requests for whatever laws they had on the subject, about how the money was raised and how it was spent. He said what he got was what he provided to the Assembly, they were scetchy rules, nothing as detailed as this ordinance, and he did not get any information on how the money is spent.
Ms. Munoz said when a passenger passes into another jurisdiction, it is different than a shipping situation where a company is coming in and using the wharf only and not actually having the passenger disembark and enter the jurisdiction and use the services of that community. Mr. Corso presumed that would be one of the essential elements should this case be litigated. It is what makes tour ships different from cargo ships. The kind of charges that can be fairly assess against a vessel under the tonnage clause and the case of a freight vessel are fairly limited to the sorts of costs that freight impose on a community: docks, roads, cranes, warehouses, and vessels for the boats themselves. He said he could not find any cases and found very few cases on the tonnage clause at all. The cases found dealt exclusively with freight; there were no tonnage clause cases about passengers. He said it was very likely that the Assembly would need to be making some case law and the argument would be that passengers in this amount and degree of impact are something new and different; a kind of cargo whose effects are felt well beyond the docks. This cargo goes all over town and uses vehicles and resources throughout the community, not just the port area, therefore a service to vessel includes not only the wharfs and the docks and the warehouses, but the community resources that the passengers draw upon. He has not found the argument anywhere else and said he was looking forward to making it.
Ms. Munoz clarified that cities like Los Angeles, that charges a $6 fee, and Miami that charges $6-7 fee for passengers coming and going, have not had any problem implementing their fees to the best of Mr. Corso’s knowledge. Mr. Corso said as far as he knows, they had not been sued and he did not know what they were spending the money on. It is described in Miami as a wharfage fee and if they are strictly spending that money on wharfs, he would not expect them to get sued.
Mr. Munoz was asked why they were limiting the use of the funds when there were no cited cases to suggest that we need to do that. Mr. Corso said the only cases he had available, he presented to the Assembly. He could provide every tonnage clause case there is, there is not very many of them. He referred to one case and said a fair reading of that cases imposes some restrictions on our ability to extract fees from a vessel entering the port.
AMENDMENT – by Etheridge, on page 9 deleting line 25, page 10, deleting lines 1-5. Starting with line six on page 10, change it to "The manager shall forward this list, to the Assembly for considerations during the deliberations on the annual City and Borough budget."
Mr. Etheridge thought this would give more opportunity for people to speak out and give their opinion and it would not limit it to people from the committee.
Mr. Powell said as a practical matter, he would agree with not having the committee. However as a legal matter, he would vote against the amendment.
Mr. MacKinnon said there was misconception on what the committee does. Some people sense the committee comes up with the list of things that the money is spent on. Reading page 9 and 10, on page 9, line 22, it says the manager shall draft a list of projects and he thought that should be similar to the CIP process already in place. The manager prepares the list, the committee reviews the list and comments to the manager. The list then comes to the Assembly and we decide what the money is spent on.
Ayes: Munoz, Pillifant and Etheridge
Nays: Perkins, Powell, Garrett, Koelsch, MacKinnon and Egan
Motion fails 6:3
AMENDMENT - by MacKinnon, on page 3 line 8, definition of a marine passenger should include or "passenger" because it is used both ways in the text. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
AMENDMENT – by Pillifant, to the section on the Passenger Fee Proceeds Committee, starting on line1 page 10, after the word assembly and including change "2" to "1" person representing the marine passenger ship industry, change "2" to "3" representing the general public. The rest would remain the same.
Mr. MacKinnon would prefer two Harbor Board Members because much of the area this deals with is under the purview of the Harbor Board. He objected to this amendment.
Ayes: Munoz and Pillifant
Nays: Perkins, Powell, Etheridge, Garrett, Koelsch, MacKinnon and Egan
motion fails 2:7
AMENDMENT – by MacKinnon to change the make up of the committee from "2" persons representing the marine passenger ship industry to "1", and changing "1" person representing the Docks and Harbors Board to "2" persons. Objection was noted.
Ayes: Munoz, Pillifant, Powell, Etheridge, MacKinnon and Egan
Nays: Perkins, Garrett and Koelsch
motion carries 6:3
AMENDMENT – by MacKinnon on page 10, at the end of line1, including one person "nominated by that portion of the marine passenger ship industry that is subject to the fees imposed under this chapter". There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mayor Egan noted that the Docks and Harbors Board had already submitted a letter with two members nominated by that board.
Mayor Egan asked if there was objection to ordinance 2000-01 as amended. Mr. Corso clarified those amendments included the bulk of the other amendments included in his memo. Mr. Garrett said the motion was for 2000-01am so that would include all the amendments he made in his memo plus all the amendments made this evening.
Mr. Koelsch asked for more information from Mr. Corso about the exemption for marine passengers for the hotel tax, in the memo. He felt the attorney and the manger were speaking against this particular amendment and he asked why. Mr. Corso said it was in the memo rather than the ordinance because part of the difficulty with a proposal to exempt the payment of room rental taxes by passengers is that it is not passengers who are subject to the fee; it is the ships that pay the fee. It is only calculated on the basis of the number of passengers on board the ship. A related problem is that if the ships are given an exemption in the form of a payment by the city of an amount equal to the room rental paid by their passengers, that would tend to negate the effect of the initiative, at least to a limited extent. All those passengers who paid the hotel/motel tax would generate a return of money and so perhaps for them at least, there would be no passenger fee for a portion of the passenger fee paid by the ship. That would tend to negate the effect of the initiative, which is something the Assembly is precluded from doing by the Charter.
Mr. Koelsch was bothered that there was legal advice that it could cause more problems than we could accomplish by adding it, and that it does negate the passenger fee. He though that someone using that reasoning, who goes downtown and spends $8 on sales tax, why wouldn’t we exempt them because they contributed to a particular tax just like the bed tax in town. He said he would feel more comfortable not having it in there at this stage. Mayor Egan agreed. Mr. Corso clarified it was only in the memo so the language would be handy should the Assembly want to put it in the ordinance. It was not in the ordinance, however the ordinance does contain a provision exempting the fee effective in November, 2000 when the Assembly is free to change or negate the effect of the initiative.
AMENDMENT – by Koelsch to remove on page 4, section (c), lines 18 – 20.
Mr. Powell asked the legal ramifications of keeping it in the ordinance. Mr. Corso said he did not see any legal issues, only policy issues. It is not effective until one year after the initiative so the Assembly does not have a Charter problem.
Mr. Garrett said the initiative that was voted on, specifically exempts a number of classes of vessels. One class is a vessel that carries fewer than 40 passengers. On overnight trips there is only one vessel that is that size and operates in Juneau. There are a number of vessels who carry a few more passengers than 40 and there was testimony tonight about the impact their one company has when they make a corporate decision to bundle into the tour price an overnight hotel accommodation in Juneau and the amount of money it means to our community. He said this is an incentive for companies like this to use Juneau as a homeport, which benefits our community enormous. The per passenger value is extraordinarily high and those individual passengers are also contributing an extraordinary amount of money, far more so per person, into the tax base than an operation paying for the services they consume, then other passengers. He views this as another incentive to encourage cruise lines to use Juneau as a home port and to put their people up in hotels here in town. There are a lot empty beds to be filled in the summer and one of the ways to do that is by encouraging small ships like this.
Objection was noted to the amendment.
Nays: Munoz, Perkins, Pillifant, Powell, Etheridge, Garrett, MacKinnon, and Egan
motion fails 1:8
Mr. Perkins said he talked to Mr. Corso about a My Turn articled dated Jan. 12. The headline was "Head tax belongs to all Juneau" and it was written by the former deputy commissioner Deborah Vogt at Dept. of Revenue. Mr. Perkins said Ms. Vogt was a person that he felt was credible in her assumptions and beliefs. He said he received several calls about this so he asked Mr. Corso to publicly discuss the flaws in the article.
Mr. Corso agreed with Mr. Perkins assessment of Ms. Vogt and said he enjoyed her article. They did exchange e-mails and he concluded that Ms. Vogt had not fully addressed the tonnage clause in this case; it is a pretty obscure piece of the constitution. Her My Turn, very well written, addressed the commerce clause issues in this case pretty well and in his memo to the Assembly dated July 22, he came to the same conclusion: that there is no serious commerce clause issues here. Some of the exemptions for vessels under 40 feet are a bit of a problem but by-in-large the ordinance and the initiative pass muster under the commerce clause. It is the tonnage clause that causes the problem. He quoted Judge Bork "The U.S. Supreme Court noted that the tonnage clause prohibits all taxes and duties regardless of their name or form and even though not measured by the tonnage of the vessel which operate to impose a charge for the privilege of entering, trading in or lying in a port. The clause does not however, prohibit charges made by a state authority for services rendered such as pilotage, wharfage, charges for the use of docks, or fees for medical inspections." The U.S. Supreme Court therefore upheld Mobile’s fee, the fee that was at issue in that particular case. Mr. Corso said that was what had set the tone for his analysis of this passenger fee. Charges for the impacts of tourism go beyond pilotage, wharfage, charges for the use of docks and fees for medical inspections. That was why they were going to have to make some law and why that would still fit within Ms. Vogt’s analysis and within the tonnage clause.
Mayor Egan asked if there was objection to approval of Ordinance 2000-02 am. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Mayor Egan clarified that did not include what Mr. Corso calls section 4. That would be taken up at a later date.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $25,000 FOR CONSULTANT SERVICES TO QUANTIFY THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS ON THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU’S OPERATIONS. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER FEES.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended the ordinance be adopted.
Dennis Harris: 352 Distin Avenue. Testified that the ordinance was unnecessary and unneeded and he urged the Assembly to simply not pass it. He said he would have to get into debate with Mr. Corso in private about the tonnage clause in the Evansville Airport case because he thought when dealing with passengers, this is analogous to airplane passengers rather than analogous to tonnage, which would be controlled by the tonnage clause. He pointed out that Long Beach and Miami all have ordinances like this and he suggested that Mr. Corso check with their city attorneys and find out if they have ever been litigated against. There is no sense in trying to defend yourself against litigation when it will never happens when it curtails your ability to spend revenue. He added that he was very concerned with some of the things that have happened since the election. He thought they should give this $25,000 to all the arts organizations whose funding was pulled by one of the cruise ship lines. Once again, the purpose of this ordinance was not to provide a benefit to the cruise ship industry; exactly the opposite.
Kim Metcalfe-Helmar testified that she too had concerns about passage of this ordinance and spending $25,000 to do a study of what city employees do that pertains to tourism. She disagreed with strictly limiting the use of the funds and she thought the funds could be used for a lot of different things that were not going down a list. She agreed with Ms. Munoz’s prior approach, which was to take the amount of city funding and divide it on a per capita basis during those summer months, those months when passengers are in town. Then divide per capita what city money is spent on them. She thought that was a good way to go and it would not cost any money. Ms. Munoz had also asked that the city manager look into Miami and Long Beach and other communities that do have these fees and she asked why had that not been done. She could not believe that he could not get information from Miami, she said she would try and find out how they are spending that money herself. That is the kind of information we need and she did not think that Mr. Corso had really tried.
Mr. Garrett said the City of Long Beach specifically exempts transit passengers from their fees. Ms. Metcalfe-Helmar said Miami was really the city in question and she wanted to find out what they were doing; just to have the information available.
MOTION - by Powell, of Ordinance 99-17 (L) for the purposes of discussion.
Mr. Powell asked the accountants to review the letter that was included in the packet.
Max Mertz, CPA with Elgee, Rehfeld & Funk. Mr. Mertz said the main idea was to identify the costs to the CBJ government of the services that are made available to the cruise ship passenger industry. The idea would be to look at each of the departments and then within those departments, identify what services they provide that are reasonably available. They have had lengthy discussions on methodology but in general the idea would be to interview key people within the departments, identify what services might be there that we are not aware of, and then reasonably determine the cost of those services through various allocation methods that are available that are reasonable and used on a wide spread basis. They would then aggregate those costs to identify the total budget impacts for the period FY99.
Ms. Munoz said a similar study was done in 1996 by the McDowell Group and she asked if he had reviewed that report. Mr. Mertz said he was familiar with it but had not reviewed it. He understood the focus was different; he would be looking at the direct cost to city government and fees generated from providing those services. He thought the McDowell report looked at various revenue streams like sales and liquor tax.
Ms. Munoz said the study that was done in 1996 looked at direct and indirect costs and direct and indirect revenue for the visitor industry and support industry. She was wondering why the city was going through this exercise again. Mr. Palmer did not believe the 1996 report would tell them how much of the $5 passenger fee they should spend on law enforcement; it did not get into that kind of detail. They need to be able to tie that passenger fee to the service that is provided. He recalled the report listed all the revenue at the airport as tourist related revenues; rent that local folks pay for their hangers was included. When they were confronted about that they said it was a broad-brush approach and they did not break things down into that kind of detail. This would be a more focused study for a single purpose and that would be to tell you what is a defensible amount of money you could spend if you wanted to, of the $5 fee, toward city operations. Ms. Munoz said the methodology used by McDowell was not one that she particularly liked or supported, but she did have a problem with this ordinance and she would not support it. She thought it would be very difficult to apportion true costs to every department and it was a time intensive exercise that was not necessary.
Mr. Powell clarified they would be looking at costs and revenues. Mr. Palmer said yes. Mr. Powell clarified the $25,000 would not include looking at incremental costs, which was what he was really looking for. Mr. Mertz said an incremental study would be very long and complicated and would be subject to a lot of opinion. Mr. Powell said he knew this report would give them good information, however he wanted the cost. He asked how much it would cost to get the answers he wanted. Mr. Mertz said an incremental cost would be a component of the cost that we identify through this study. The services available cost would identify the costs provided in the community that are available to the cruise ship industry; irrespective of consumption. It would look at an incremental cost for police services that are being provided to the industry and are enjoyed by the passengers and the residents. An incremental cost would consider if they had to hire one more police officer during the summer because of the cruise ship industry. Those costs are all part of the study that they are doing, and to do an incremental study would provide a smaller number than what they will come up with in their report. If you only focus on incremental costs, you are ignoring all the costs that the city is incurring for those services that are being provided. Mr. Powell said he was not suggesting just focusing on incremental costs; he was suggesting cost, indirect cost and incremental costs in an effort to get the bottom line. Mr. Mertz said he would have to get back to him with that number; it would be a large number.
Mr. MacKinnon referred to the letter where it said "services available" and he was bothered that those services would be allocated to the industry whether they use that service or not. Mr. Mertz said that they were not quantifying the amount of service that they were using. He offered another example with Capital Transit and said a bus route in the summertime that runs in the afternoon from downtown to Lemon Creek, probably has some measure of passenger and crew on it and some measurable number of residents on it. The idea would be that that would be a service that would be available within the community to the cruise ship passengers. They have not looked at revenues, only at the costs. They are not doing a study that then says the percentage of cruise ship passengers versus local residents; only that the service is available and it benefits the cruise ship industry directly. The idea is to identify what are the types of services that are available to the cruise ship passengers and crew, to consume.
Mr. MacKinnon said if they were not going to determine how much was used, then of what value would it be. Mr. Mertz said they would be providing a methodology that could be used to take the portion that the Assembly directs to be used for general governmental services and then an amount that is reasonably allocable of that total revenue number within the general fund budget of the CBJ. Mr. MacKinnon said in the Manager’s report it talks about changing the approach of the study to a services available basis. It stated that this change would reduce the time necessary to prepare the report. Mr. MacKinnon clarified it would still cost $25,000. Mr. Palmer said they had added JCVB in the scope. Mr. Mertz said it would take less time but they do not have a good feeling for the number of hours; they have only estimated what they think it would take. Greater efficiency during the interview portion will have a dramatic bearing on how much time it takes and ultimately what the cost is. The $25,000 is not set in stone.
Ms. Munoz said in terms of services available, she thought Mr. Mertz’s approach was right, even though she did not support the ordinance. Having the service available to anyone coming into the community is a great benefit and there is an inherent cost associated with having that sort of benefit. She suggested looking at that benefit based on the number of people that come into the community and then figuring out per capita what the cost of that service is based on the population for those months of the summer.
Mr. Garrett asked if it would be hard to do a service hour allocation based on populations. Mr. Mertz said that doing an overall one was viable but when you get down to the detail levels, some of the costs are available on a 24 hour basis and some are not. They have looked at taking the number of cruise ship hours per day and building a database that would support a daily allocation for those components of service that are only available for part of the day. That is very similar to Ms. Munoz’s idea, only more focused and detailed. Mr. Garrett would really appreciate if it were modeled so it could be applied to other industries that impact the community. He referred to State Government and said they are continually cutting back on support to communities, although their buildings are not taxed and they contribute almost nothing to the tax base, yet they impose a huge burden on municipal services.
Mr. Garrett referred to the bus example and said if a bus is running at 2:00 heading toward Costco, it has a number of people on board, all who paid different rates. How would that be figured. Mr. Kern has it figured that it cost $X an hour to run a bus, regardless of if it is empty. Mr. Mertz said Capital Transit has a fairly good idea about who generates what portion of their revenue stream. There would be several way to come up with that type of information and he felt that the managers in the various departments in the city had a very good handle on their business. They would be a good source to help answer questions like that when they arise. Mr. Garrett thought there had to be some way of recognizing the differential rates of revenue.
AMENDMENT - by MacKinnon to change the title of the ordinance from Cruise Ship Fee to Marine Passenger Fund. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
AMENDMENT – by MacKinnon to change the sum of $25,000 to $20,000.
Mr. Perkins did not want to be negotiating the contract at this point. Objection was noted.
Ayes: MacKinnon and Egan
Nays: Munoz, Perkins, Pillifant, Powell, Etheridge, Garrett and Koelsch
motion failed 2:7
Mr. Corso asked if anyone was concerned with the legality of charging for the availability of services as opposed to the actually deliver.
Mr. Powell asked if this was not passed tonight, would it jeopardize our legal position. Mr. Corso said in the event the city were to be sued on the grounds that the funds were being used for an improper purpose, it would help to have some disinterested, professionally prepared survey, whether or not we agreed with the conclusions. He presumed he would at some point be asked what sort of impact these passengers have and how much do they cost. Something like this report would answer that question.
Mr. Perkins supported Mr. Corso and said this would provide a good baseline. He would hope this is not challenged after all the work that is already put into it. If it is challenged, they would certainly know where it is flawed and then they could make those adjustments. He said he was comfortable with the direction being considered.
MOTION – by Perkins, to amend Section 3 to say Marine Passenger Fund to be consistent with the title change. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mayor Egan asked if there was objection to Ordinance 99-17 (L) as amended. Objection was noted.
Ayes: Perkins, Etheridge, Garrett and Egan
Nays: Munoz, Pillifant, Powell, Koelsch and MacKinnon
motion fails 4:5
A. Manager’s Report - Action Items
Ordinance No. 2000-02, Douglas Island Exchange
Administrative Report: Attached. Mr. Palmer referred to the letter from Mr. Gilbertson that was in the folder and he read the three recommendations on page two. The first recommendation was already completed.
MOTION - by Powell, to accept the recommendations as outlined in Mr. Gilbertson’s memo and that it be taken up at Lands Committee, and he asked for unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
2. Community Cable Access Juneau proposes to broadcast community service programs and some CBJ meetings. They request $600 for equipment, and use of channel 4 for 90 minutes on Saturdays when Gavel to Gavel does not conflict.
Administrative Report: Mr. Palmer reviewed the request.
Ms. Munoz noted a conflict of interest as she was a board member of Community Cable Access. She was allowed to step down.
Mr. Powell said if there was no objection, he would direct the city manager to draft a policy on channel four for the Assembly’s consideration. Mayor Egan agreed. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Powell asked for more information on how it would be used and what would be televised.
Tony Armlin, 203 West 3rd Street. He asked if it would be possible to go on the air without the policy or would the policy come first. He said their programming was several categories including balanced issue oriented discussion with phone in; programs about cultural heritages; City Hall , the Manager or Assembly could get on the phone and talk to people; or non-profit corporations could get points of view out. They are public access and they would like to get public access out there. They do not have a studio yet, the chamber would be it for now.
Mr. MacKinnon asked about the $600 piece of equipment. Mr. Armlin said it was a demodulator which was purchased by them on speculation that the city may be able to pay $600 to have meetings broadcast once a week without having to pay for them; it has been installed at the cable company and they were hoping to get reimbursed. Mr. MacKinnon clarified that then it would be available to anyone who wanted to broadcast from the chambers. Mr. Armlin said yes, anyone who wanted to provide their own modulator so they could access it.
Mr. Koelsch thought this had good merit and great potential for communication. He did not like it coming before the Assembly at this stage without going through the Finance Committee or the Public Works. Same with the policy, once the manager makes that, then Policy and Planning should look at it before it moves on to the Assembly.
Mayor Egan agreed and was concerned that the cable system has a certificate of convenience and public necessity to provide a cable access channel for just specifically what Mr. Armlin is trying to do. He knows they have come forward and assisted the city before with a modulator and demodulator and it seemed to him that the cable system, because of the charge they have under the FCC reorganization act, would be more than willing to provide the money for the demodulator. He asked them to look into what responsibilities and opportunity the cable company would provide since the city would be providing the facilities at no charge.
Mr. Armlin said they had a schedule and hoped to be on the air the first week of February. He asked if it would be possible to have a policy decision by then. Mr. Palmer thought the highest priority was Gavel to Gavel, and if they did not interrupt with that, he did not see a problem with them using the channel 90 minutes on Saturdays.
MOTION – by Powell, to accept the proposal, but he wanted to see it in writing.
Mr. Powell asked for a list of guidelines for what goes over the air and a policy for review. Ms. Pillifant spoke in favor of the opportunity for folks within the community to have dialog on the many issues that come before the Assembly. It seemed like an inexpensive opportunity to provide more access and public involvement.
Mr. Koelsch indicated that he had made a motion and he restated it.
MOTION – by Koelsch to send the $600 to the Finance Committee and the policy to the Manager who will send it to the Policy and Planning Committee. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Garrett clarified that they could go on the air whenever the Manager says they can. There was no objection to that direction. Ms. Munoz returned to her seat on the panel.
B. Manager’s Report - Information Items
Mr. Palmer reported that staff was making an effort to be more aware of the media. The story in the paper titled "City to spend $35,000 to fix tiles in the pool" caused frustration to him and the author of the story as they do not write the headline. He said contained in the article is says it is warranty work which negates the big headline.
Mr. Palmer reported that there would be an extra 200 yards of carpet from the Police Station so it would be used to re-carpet the chambers. In addition, they ordered new chairs and the color will match the carpet.
C. Attorney’s Report - None
Ms. Munoz said the Trails Working group put together a survey that would go out to the community next week. They scheduled a public meeting to report the results of the survey on March 23rd at Centennial Hall. They have had excellent participation in this committee. She went on to say she attended the PRAC meeting as the new liaison and the issue before them was a revision to the Centennial Hall policy. There is one change that will change the availability of the facility for local groups; they can now reserve the space beyond one year in advance.
Mr. Koelsch said the Local Emergency Planning Committee would meet tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Downtown Fire Hall. The Transportation Steering Committee meets this Thursday at noon in room 211.
Mayor Egan said there would be no Alaska Committee meeting on Wednesday. It was rescheduled for February 2nd at 7:00 a.m.
Mr. Etheridge requested that the city come up with a letter in support of DIPAC on the fishery issue. Mayor Egan clarified if the Assembly wanted a resolution or a letter. It was agreed that a resolution would be completed for the next meeting. There was no objection to that direction. Mr. Etheridge requested a news release to clarify some of the misgivings about the pool.
Mr. Koelsch wanted to reply in some form to Mr. Billings, as this was the second year he has tried to work through the democratic process. Mr. MacKinnon said an ordinance introduced at the first meeting in February could be in effect by April. Mr. Koelsch asked for an update on the pull tabs issue. Mr. Corso said it had been appealed to the Superior Court. Mr. Perkins asked if it would be possible to go to the judge and force a bond on the amount that is outstanding to the city. Mr. Corso was not sure if a bond would be the right device, he would consider it. Mr. Koelsch asked the status of the Marine Highway Building or the Riverbend roof. Mr. Palmer said nothing new, the architects have ordered new roof vents for Riverbend. They are waiting for paperwork on the Marine Highway building. Mr. Koelsch added that he would be gone for most of the month of February and would miss the next meeting.
Ms. Munoz said she was contacted by a former member of the Energy Advisory Committee requesting that they have an opportunity to review the $20,000 grant that the CBJ approved recently for the intertie study; they would like to have some input on this issue. Mayor Egan said they were more than welcome to, through Southeast Conference, he suggested they call Frank Homan, the Executive Director. Ms. Munoz asked Mr. Palmer to pass that information onto the committee. Mr. Palmer said the $20,000 that was contributed was to pay the lobbyist. Ms. Munoz said she did not think the money had been allocated yet so there was still an opportunity to hear from the committee on the issue. Mayor Egan said there was nothing for the Assembly to hear because it was Southeast Conference that was doing this; all the Assembly did was approve a request for funds. Mr. Palmer verified that the funds had been appropriated and had come out of Better Capital. Ms. Munoz went on to say she received a list of parking issues and their enforcement and she would provide it to the Manager. She said she would miss the next two assembly meetings as she would be out of town until February 28th.
Ms. Pillifant asked for the opportunity to work with Mr. Corso and/or Mr. Palmer on a resolution that supports the governor’s transportation initiative. This is a movement toward better transportation and she felt the Assembly needed to support that. Mayor Egan said the Assembly is on record supporting the Southeast Transportation Plan, a resolution was passed a year ago, but it did not include the northern corridor. Ms. Pillifant thought it might have a strong impact on the legislature if something "fresh" was sent up there. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Garrett asked that the Revised Pending Items be expanded to include the list of pending Assembly appeals, including the name of the chairman. He noted that he would be out of town and would miss the meeting of the 7th.
Mr. Powell requested that Mr. Gilbertson transfer the new list of to-do’s for the Lands Committee to the Revised Pending Items list.
Mr. MacKinnon referred to a transfer that was approved for over $1M going into the artificial turf at Adair Kennedy. He was astounded at the number and thought it was about 10% of the entire Prop. 2 funding. Mr. Palmer noted that it had an eight-year warranty and a lot of the money was the subsurface work that needed to be done.
Mayor Egan said he had a request from the Juneau Campus Council of UAS requesting an Assemblymember liaison to attend a couple of meetings a year with that council. Mr. Powell said that currently there were two people on the JEDC, he offered to step down from that committee and be the new liaison to the Juneau Campus Council. He was so appointed.
Mayor Egan said the Harbor Board requested that an Assemblymember attend. Mr. Garrett said he would be at the next meeting.
Mayor Egan said RDC would be having their executive board meeting next Wednesday in the chambers from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 and they had invited the Assembly. Lunch would be provided at noon at a place to be determined. The Southeast Conference of Mayors and the Alaska Municipal League would be meeting all day Wednesday and Thursday.
Laurie Logsdon, Acting Clerk