Veto faces test

Council could override mayor's decision tonight

Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The first veto ever exercised by Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey in the five years he has led the city will be put to the test this evening.

Carey told the city council two weeks ago he planned to veto an ordinance they passed extending the operating hours of existing adult businesses that have liquor licenses.

Good Time Charlie’s strip club at the east edge of Soldotna is the only such business in the city.

Last year the council passed a new law requiring adult businesses to be closed between midnight and 9 a.m.

Charles Cunningham, the owner of Charlie’s, appealed, saying his patrons did not start arriving until 11 p.m.

At its June 14 meeting, the council approved an ordinance amending the law, exempting Charlie’s and allowing the bar to remain open from midnight to 5 a.m.

Carey opposed the amendment, saying 14 months ago, the council chamber was filled with residents insisting on regulating adult businesses in Soldotna, and he “cannot ignore those people.”

The council has the authority to override the mayor’s veto tonight with a two-thirds majority vote. That means four of the six council members must favor the override.

The city clerk has received handwritten notes from council members Sharon Moock and Lisa Parker saying they will be absent from the meeting, which means the four remaining members must all agree.

In other business, the council is slated to consider a resolution creating a job description for a community schools and recreational programs coordinator.

The city officially takes over the Community Schools Program from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District next month.

The coordinator position would be in a salary range from $33,043 to $55,564. Carmen Triana, who coordinated the program for the school district would remain in the role for the city, according to City Manager Tom Boedeker.

The council also will look at awarding a $317,000 contract to Peninsula Construction to complete the Soldotna Creek Kenai River Trail handicap access and soil erosion control project.

Boedeker said that was the only bid received, and it is within the city’s budgeted amount.

As work continues on the trail, the city park is closed for construction and the riverbank is closed to fishing.

Boedeker said the walkway, which now extends from Soldotna Creek to the Aspen Hotel, will be open soon, but the bank fishing closure will continue.

Stairs leading from the walkway into the water are not officially closed.

The council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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