Assembly votes to shorten notice to service area boards to rescind powers

Power play?

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2007

Powers delegated to service area boards by legislative action of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly can be rescinded with as little as 30-days notice, following action by the assembly Tuesday.

With amendments, the assembly voted to approve Ordinance 2007-29, introduced by Mayor John Williams in early July, which aimed to eliminate entirely 90-day notice requirement whenever the assembly wished to take back an authority granted to a service area.

The measure also eliminated language giving the mayor the power to delegate and rescind service area powers. Williams said that authority was redundant since it was contingent on agreement from the assembly in any case.

Although residents of the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area who testified Tuesday against the measure saw it as aimed at their service area, Mayor Williams said it was not, but rather a necessary change that would apply to all 12 of the borough's service areas.

SPH service area residents also had been on hand to testify unsuccessfully against the more critical Ordinance 2007-28 that stripped certain powers from that service area's elected board. That cleared the way for the Williams' administration to negotiate a new operating contract with South Peninsula Hospital Inc.'s board of directors.

The assembly agreed that there might be times when a service area authority might need to be rescinded. Williams said there was no need for a 90-day waiting period for taking back a power.

The assembly, however, amended the measure, adding language that would grant at least a 30-day notice period.

The assembly approved the ordinance by a 7-2 vote, with only assemblywomen Deb Germano, of Homer, and Milli Martin, of Diamond Ridge voting no.

Hal Spence can be reached at

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