Judge refuses to open city-industry meeting

Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A state judge has denied a Juneau man's request to open meetings between the North West CruiseShip Association and a group of city officials and employees.

Juneau is sending five people, including a member of the assembly and the deputy city manager, to Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday to meet with representatives of the industry association.

Juneau resident Dennis Harris filed a lawsuit against the city Tuesday, asking Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks to issue a temporary restraining order so the public could attend the meetings. He also asked that the meetings be held in Juneau.

Weeks rejected the request Thursday.

''On the facts presented here today, I don't think that people going down to Canada under the circumstances that have been presented constitutes a violation of the Open Meetings Act,'' he said.

Weeks said he might change his mind if Harris can show that the meetings involve a government body, countering the city's claim that they don't.

Financing for port projects and changes proposed for Steamship Wharf-Marine Park are on the agenda of the Vancouver meeting. Both items have generated controversy in Juneau.

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