Representative Beth Kerttula didn’t know Peterburg’s borough assembly was planning to ask again to get out of Juneau’s legislative district.
The small fishing community is sending a letter to the Alaska Redistricting Board requesting to be in a district with Sitka, Wrangell, and other smaller Southeast communities.
But Kerttula says she’s not surprised.
“I just respect Petersburg’s desire to be more of what they used to be in terms of the contiguity of their district. I don’t know that that will happen,” the democratic representative says. “As I’ve said, I love representing Petersburg. It’s a tremendous community. Senator Egan and I have great connections there and will continue to work our hardest for them frankly whether they’re in the district or not.”
Kerttula says she and Senator Egan had worked diligently on getting appropriation money for the community during the recent legislative session. Petersburg received 2.5 million for its police station and more than 2.1 million in state money for its elementary school. The airport got 3 million in federal money and another 3.3 million for Haugen drive and adjacent bike path.
Petersburg fought the inclusion in Juneau’s house and senate district last year. The Redistricting Board this week is beginning the process of redrawing Alaska’s legislative lines.
Kerttula thinks regardless of how the lines are drawn, there will likely be a smaller community placed in Juneau’s district.