Final vote Monday for Ketchikan prayer ordinance

A public hearing and final vote on a proposal to add prayer to the regular Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting agenda is scheduled for Monday’s Assembly meeting.

A first reading of the prayer ordinance passed in a 4-3 split vote during the Assembly’s Oct. 6 meeting. Since then, the Assembly makeup has changed slightly. Agnes Moran, one of the yes votes, finished up her tenure and now newly elected Assembly Member John Harrington has taken her place. How that will affect the vote remains to be seen.

If the measure passes on Monday, Assembly members indicated they would like interested parties from all religious backgrounds to have the opportunity to present an invocation at the start of each meeting.

Also Monday, the Assembly will consider a motion directing Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to halt the Big Thorne timber sale. The lawsuit, filed by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, names the U.S. Forest Service as the defendant. If the borough intervenes, it would be on the side of the Forest Service.

Bockhorst writes that intervening would give the borough greater influence in the lawsuit settlement. The cost to the borough would be $5,000, and Bockhorst writes that it’s unlikely the borough would have to pay any more later on.

Monday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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