Should the City and Borough of Juneau do more to directly address its growing tourism industry?
That’s the question Mayor Beth Weldon has charged a new visitor industry task force with answering. The move follows a record-breaking increase in the number of cruise ship visitors last summer.
Juneau Assembly member Carole Triem will chair the committee. She said locals were especially vocal about the impacts from tourism this past summer.
“We’ve reached a point where it’s necessary to take a look at what the impacts are from tourism and do we want to mitigate those in any way?” Triem said.
Mayor Weldon wants the task force to focus on whether the city’s current approach to managing tourism is effective and whether the city should update its waterfront development plan. She also wants them to tackle the controversial topic of capping the number of cruise ship visitors to Juneau.
Assembly member Wade Bryson will also serve on the committee, along with eight members representing a range of perspectives on tourism in Juneau.
They are Dan Blanchard, Alida Bus, Craig Dahl, Kirby Day, Holly Johnson, Bobbie Meszaros, Meilani Schijvens and Paula Terrel.
The task force has until the end of February to submit its recommendations to the Assembly.
Triem said the task force’s first meeting will be next Tuesday at noon. She plans to have the group meet monthly.
- Under Alaska state law, at least 30 days’ notice is needed to hold a non-emergency special session during the interim. That would push any special session now up against the holidays.
- The Tazlina was scheduled to have new side doors installed this winter. Instead, the state ferry will provide service between Juneau and the communities of Haines, Skagway, Hoonah and Gustavus.
- Bruce Tangeman, who ran the state's Department of Revenue, also wrote that any potential new taxes would support what he called an unsustainable budget, as well as permanent fund dividends.
- The NTSB update is a detailed, seven-page statement of facts about the flight and the investigation, with sections on the runway, the flight recorders, the plane and its engines. It does not assign a cause to the crash. That's expected later.