Smith: “Get more comfortable with the word no”

Outgoing Juneau Assemblyman Carlton Smith had a solemn parting message for his colleagues last night.

“We as an Assembly, we as a community, are going to have to get more comfortable with the word no,” he said.

Smith predicted the city and the state of Alaska will continue to face uncertain revenue forecasts, leading to budget shortfalls and the need for more fiscal restraint.

He said the Assembly should follow the lead of his fellow departing member, Randy Wanamaker.

“This man speaks with conviction,” Smith said. “He says no, and he means no.”

Smith served one three-year term on the Assembly. Wanamaker served four terms, for a total of 12 years. They both opted not to seek re-election.

Wanamaker’s parting comments were brief. He thanked the citizens of Juneau and city staff for the privilege of allowing him to serve on the Assembly, and for providing him with the information to make decisions.

Both Wanamaker and Smith are Tlingit, and their departure leaves the Assembly with no Alaska Native representation.

They were replaced by Debbie White and Maria Gladziszewski, who took the oath of office last night.

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