Assembly member to propose government consolidation

Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly member said he will bring forth a resolution to draft a charter for a consolidated municipality.

If the Assembly approves the resolution, charter commission candidates would be on the ballot next month, along with the question of whether there should be a charter commission.

Assembly member Sam Bergeron said having one government would lead to better cooperation between government officials. And he said it makes no sense to have four fire departments and two mayors in a town of 14,000 people.

The issue has been brought to the people before. In 2001, residents rejected a proposal to combine the city of Ketchikan with the borough. Fifty-eight percent of voters said ''no.''

City Mayor Bob Weinstein, who was spokesman for the city's consolidation effort in 2001, said he still believes in the concept.

''I remain a strong believer in the fact that one government would not only save us in excess of $1 million a year, but it would be in the best long-term economic interest of the community,'' he said.

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