Kenai city manager wants to streamline city code in light of state cuts

Posted: Thursday, May 04, 2000

KENAI (AP) -- In the wake of legislative budget cuts, Kenai's city manager wants to streamline the city code to free up the city from enforcing state laws.

Among the regulations Rick Ross wants to cut is the requirement that he hold staff meetings once a week with his department heads. He said no city manager has ever had a weekly meeting, as far as he knows.

Ross has put a steady stream of various code deletions and revisions before the city council since late last year. Laws stricken from the books range from health inspections to lewd and lascivious acts in public.

It's part of a plan to eliminate ordinances that are no longer needed, Ross said.

Kenai Mayor John Williams described the effort as a war with the state.

''If they thought we'd do it, the Legislature will pass it on down, and who would get to pay for it? Well, we're sitting right here,'' he told the Peninsula Clarion. ''This war will continue for some time.''

Ross said the Kenai City Code called for a health inspector to be on staff and for that person to inspect restaurants.

''In the last 30 years we have had no health department or inspector,'' Ross said.

Various public sex acts also were removed from the city codes, but Ross and city attorney Carey Graves assured the council that they still were illegal under state law.

A number of other laws were recently removed from the city code. They include fortune-telling, mind-reading and phrenology, as well as selling cigarettes or tobacco to children. Also off the city books are gambling, discharge of firearms, sale of switchblade knives, unlawful assembly, trespassing, impersonating an officer or employee of the city, resisting arrest and reporting false fire alarms.

Many of these repealed laws are still illegal under state law, and city police still can charge violators under them.

A number of other city laws were kept but changed from misdemeanors to violations.

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