All new members of the Juneau Assembly have been sworn in, the deputy mayor appointed, and committee members named.
The Assembly met Monday night for the first time since the municipal election. Jerry Nankervis took the oath of office and Assembly members selected Mary Becker as deputy mayor. Mayor Merrill Sanford said Becker was the only member who had shown interest in the deputy mayor position.
Nankervis was unable to attend last week’s special meeting called to install the mayor and new members.
Then Sanford handed out committee and liaison assignments. Karen Crane remains the chair of the Finance Committee, which is comprised of all Assembly members. The entire panel also sits as the Committee of the Whole, which is chaired by the deputy mayor.
Jesse Kiehl is Human Resources Committee chairman; Carlton Smith is Lands, and Randy Wanamaker retains his chairmanship of the Public Works and Facilities Committee.
The Assembly has five standing committees and each member also serves as a liaison between the Assembly and other groups, ranging from CBJ enterprise boards to the Chamber of Commerce. Sanford admonished members to take their liaison assignments seriously, saying it’s one of the most important positions an Assembly member has.
“That means bringing communications back from committees, both enterprise boards and other committees were assigned to, getting their concerns and wants and bringing them back to the Assembly or to staff and try to work things out ahead of time,” Sanford said.
All Juneau Assembly members automatically assume membership on the Alaska Municipal League and Southeast Conference.
The new Assembly holds a daylong retreat on Saturday in city hall chambers to set priorities for the year.
- "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
- Rep. Les Gara wants to make sure state budget cuts don’t fall too heavily on working-class and low-income people. Instead, he wants a new business tax.
- The Legislative Council is seeking advice from a finance expert on what to do about the controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.
- For the first time, scientists have documented the prevalence of two biotoxins in Alaska’s marine mammal population above the Arctic Circle.