Ketchikan borough will oppose consolidation

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2001

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has gone on record opposing the city of Ketchikan's petition to consolidate the two governments.

The assembly Wednesday approved spending $3,000 to oppose the consolidation proposition that voters will address in mail-in ballots in July.

Borough Manager Georgianna Zimmerle had prepared two options for the assembly to consider: One would have directed production of a neutral voter pamphlet providing statements from opposing sides of the question. The other would appropriate funds to oppose the consolidation and schedule a public hearing for June 20.

Zimmerle said opponents of consolidation believed it wasn't fair that the public might receive only the city's viewpoint in favor of the proposition. The Ketchikan City Council recently approved a $25,000 fund to promote consolidation.

Voters should know if consolidation is approved, residents who had no opportunity to vote on city bond debt will be required to repay some of it, Zimmerle said.

Other potential reasons for opposing the merger include increased property tax rates outside the city and the extension of 10 city services to the entire borough, said Borough Attorney Scott Brandt-Erichsen.

Area residents began receiving notices Wednesday from the State Division of Elections regarding the upcoming election and the system of voting by mail.

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