Assembly to consider SAB ordinance

Posted: Monday, January 03, 2011

An ordinance clarifying the powers and duties of the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Service Area Board will be on the agenda when the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meets Tuesday.

Ordinance 2010-42 was co-sponsored by KPB Mayor Dave Carey and Mako Haggerty, who represents Anchor Point and other areas of the southern Kenai Peninsula on the assembly. If passed, it would clarify the board's role as advisory, rather than supervisory, in terms of providing for the establishment and operation of fire and emergency medical services within the service area.

It also would change the board's role to one of making recommendations to the mayor and assembly concerning administration and operation of the service area, as opposed to informing the mayor and assembly about actions already taken by the board.

The ordinance also includes the requirement for the board to submit minutes of all board meetings, something that is already being done.

The ordinance was introduced at the assembly's Dec. 7 meeting. It was referred to the assembly's Policies and Procedures Committee, which is chaired by Haggerty, and is scheduled for a public hearing at Tuesday's assembly meeting. Actions that could be taken by the assembly at that time include postponing or tabling action on the ordinance, amending it or enacting it.

At a Dec. 20 meeting of the service area board, the board unanimously approved recommending the assembly wait 12 months before taking action on the ordinance. The delay would offer time for the service area to comply with two specific requests Carey made after being elected in 2008: physicals for volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians to ensure their ability to perform their duties and the maintenance of service area equipment to industry standards.

"Nothing has changed," Robin Proctor, service area board chair, said of the board's recommendation for a 12-month delay before voting on the ordinance.

There has been no change in Haggerty's support of the ordinance, either, a point he made at the close of the Dec. 20 board meeting.

"I want to be completely honest with them," he said of his communication with the board. "I need them to know where I'm at and they need to know where I'm at. I'm not going to try to hide that for political expediency."

Haggerty said he is aware of support for the ordinance from service area residents.

"There are two sides to this story and on the service area board it sounds like there's just one side," said Haggerty. "(The ordinance) is a step toward providing the best emergency services possible. Of course, the people on the service area board have a different opinion about that."

The agenda for Tuesday's assembly meeting allows opportunities for the public to comment on the ordinance, whether in support or opposition. Proctor said the board had not decided whom, if anyone, on the board would attend.

"It's likely that we will, but I'm not sure. I assume there will be someone from the service area board speaking, but I can't guarantee it," said Proctor.

Haggerty encouraged public attendance at the evening meeting, when there will be opportunities for public comment, as well as at the Policies and Procedures Committee meeting earlier in the day.

"If (anyone) feels strongly about any issue, I encourage people to show up for the committee meeting because you get a sense of how the assembly is leaning, the kind of questions they ask," he said. "It never hurts to be there."

The assembly meets at 7 p.m. in the assembly chambers, 144 N. Binkley St., Soldotna, with committee meetings beforehand. For an agenda, visit www.borough.kenai.ak.us/.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben. jackinsy@homernews.com.



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