Assembly revamps committee process

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2002

Assembly President Pete Sprague of Soldotna assigned the nine members of the assembly to specific committees last week and revamped the way those committees will conduct their business.

In a memo Saturday to the legislative body, Sprague said the new assignments and other changes might not fully satisfy everyone on the panel, but he believes the changes are needed so the committee process will work more smoothly.

Currently, the entire Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly sits on the various assembly committees, and committee meetings are conducted one after another throughout the day in the hours prior to evening regular meetings. Sprague has reduced committee membership to three members each, except for the Legislative Committee, which will include all assembly members.

The Finance, Lands, and Policies and Procedures committees will meet concurrently, followed by the Legislative Committee meeting.

Assembly District 8 member Chris Moss of Homer will chair the Finance Committee, which also will include District 3's Gary Superman of Nikiski, who will be vice chair, and District 7 member Paul Fisher of Kasilof.

The Lands Committee will include South Peninsula District 9's Milli Martin, chair, District 5's Grace Merkes of Sterling, vice chair, and Sprague.

Betty Glick of Kenai's District 2 will chair the Policies and Procedures Committee, with Ron Long of Seward's District 6 serving as vice chair. John Davis of Kalifornsky District 1 also will be on the committee. Long will chair the Legislative Committee with Sprague as vice chair.

"These changes should serve to make the process better for the public, staff and the assembly," Sprague said in the memo. "Committee meetings are intended to be work sessions between the assembly and staff; I encourage committee chairs to limit public comment during these meetings and to encourage it at the evening regular meeting. I believe this will not only make the committee process more effective, but it will eliminate any confusion by the public about which meetings to attend and-or participate in."

Sprague said the changes may mean more preparation work for assembly members and somewhat longer reports during regular meetings.

However, he said, he hoped the changes would allow the assembly to work more efficiently and make the committee process easier for the public.

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