The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 
 

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Tough round of meetings facing new council

Budget hearings, rearranged meeting dates add to learning curve

 

Valdez Star photo

City Clerk Sheri Pierce, left, administered the oath of office to Larry Weaver, the newly elected mayor, (center) and council members (left to right) Nate Smith, Jim Shirrell and Chris Moulton.

A new mayor and a new council member were sworn into office Monday night, and the group will face a challenging – and time consuming – round of upcoming meetings in the coming weeks.

"The new harbor is front and center," City Manager John Hozey said after the new members were sworn in.

The group includes incumbents Chris Moulton, who is serving his second term, and Nate Smith, who was elected after he was appointed to his council seat a few months back.

Voters approved a $20 million bond proposition during the same election, but it will be up to the sitting council to approve the final language and amount of money that will be barrowed.

It is just one of many important issue facing city government as the calendar moves towards the end of the year. Just keeping up with irregularities in the regular meeting will prove challenging.

Hozey said that regular council meetings, which usually occur on the first and third Monday nights of each month, will have to be moved due to scheduling conflicts with school board meetings and meetings where a number of elected officials will be out of town to attend the annual Alaska Municipal League meetings in Anchorage.

The conference is slated for Nov. 17-24, which conflicts with the previously scheduled council meeting that Monday.

So the council's second meeting in November will be held Tuesday, Nov. 25, because the board of education will be holding its second meeting of the month in council chambers Nov. 24.

Valdez Star photo

Warren Keogh, independent candidate for state senate in the Valdez district, made an appearance at the city council meeting Monday night, and shared concerns he's heard from voters. He chatted with council member Nate Smith afterwards.

December's council meetings will also be atypical.

To add to the confusion, the city's budget hearings are close on the horizon.

"We're scheduled for Monday/Wednesday for the next three weeks," Hozey said.

The council asked Hozey to publish the new schedule on the city's website in the coming days.

"This is the same thing we did last year," Hozey said about the rescheduling.

 

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