Juneau’s legislative delegation would’ve been excused if they took it easy this summer.
Representatives Beth Kerttula and Cathy Munoz are running unopposed in both next week’s primary and November’s general election. And Senator Dennis Egan is the only legislator who doesn’t have to run for reelection this year, because his district was largely unchanged by the state’s once-a-decade redistricting process.
But Kerttula says she’s been busy volunteering for the Alaska Sea Party’s pro-Ballot Measure 2 campaign to restore the Alaska Coastal Management Program.
She also says she spent part of the interim meeting with residents of Petersburg and Skagway — two new communities incorporated into her district under the latest redistricting plan.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” Kerttula says. “It’s a challenge, but it’s a really welcome one. And it also brings the communities closer together as a Southeast unit. We southeastern legislators tend to work together well and we unite often, especially on budget.”
Both Kerttula and Munoz say they’ve been busy working on constituent issues as well. Kerrtula says Petersburg residents came to her with concerns after the state ferry Matanuska slammed into a fish processing dock there earlier this year.
Munoz says she’s trying to keep up to speed on construction activity, especially a proposed Auke Bay traffic project led by the state Department of Transportation.
“Especially when there was concern about the possibility of acquiring the DeHart’s building to put in a roundabout,” Munoz says. “We advocated with the Department of Transportation and worked with the community groups that were concerned about that to find another location for the roundabout.”
Munoz is a Republican and Kerttula the Democratic Minority Leader. But both say the Juneau delegation works together across party lines to do what’s best for the Capital City. They both think that’s one reason why they don’t face any challengers in this year’s elections.
The primary is on Tuesday.
- A tsunami warning drill takes place once a year, and one village in Southeast has not forgotten the importance of being ready when disaster strikes.
- Nome turns into a bit of a carnival when the Iditarod winner mushes into town. For nearly a week, racers continue arriving before the banquet that officially concludes each year’s Iditarod.
- An M-44, which sprays predators with sodium cyanide, detonated on a teen and his dog earlier this month in Idaho. Now the family and others are petitioning the USDA to end its use of the devices.
- The Mental Health Trust Authority owns lands in Petersburg it wants to swap for Tongass National Forest acreage elsewhere in the region. Resulting timber sales would raise money for the Trust.