Fairbanks opposes vote on consolidation

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The city of Fairbanks has asked the state's Local Boundary Commission to reconsider its decision to send the issue of consolidation with the Fairbanks North Star Borough to voters.

A teleconference hearing has been set for June 29 to consider the city's arguments.

''This is the first time ever we've gone from a city back down to a service area,'' said Pat Cole, the city's administrative services director. ''This is state history here in Alaska.''

Cole argues in the city's request to the commissioners that the state constitution and statutes prohibit the city becoming a service area. In addition, he argues the vote of city residents is being marginalized within the confines of a borough-wide vote.

''We think these two issues were never fully addressed,'' Cole said.

These sorts of appeals are rare, said the executive director of the boundary commission.

''Requests for reconsideration are received fairly infrequently,'' Dan Bockhorst said, ''and granted less frequently.''

Cole believes a state statute backs his claim that city voters must be allowed a separate vote.

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