Minutes of the Work Session

Denali Borough Assembly

McKinley Village Community Center

May 19, 2002


CALL TO ORDER    Presiding Officer Jerry Mueller called the work session to order at 2:00 pm.


ROLL CALL               Assembly members present were: Jim Caswell, Jerry Mueller, Gerald Pollock, Carol Shields, Teresa Hall, Teresa Usibelli, David Talerico and Mayor Gonzales.  Assembly members Jim Payne and Sid Michaels were absent.


1.)   Ordinance 01-07, Version A, an ordinance amending the Denali Borough Code of Ordinances, adding Chapter 22, pertaining to business licenses.


HALL asked if this has ever been amended.  MUELLER said this is the original version, with no changes.


2.)   Ordinance 02-01, Version A, an ordinance amending the Denali Borough Enabling Code, Title I, Chapter 4, Public Records.


USIBELLI said she had read the Attorney’s letter regarding this ordinance and asked if the Attorney had received a copy of the Office Policy or is he just blowing smoke.


Mayor Gonzales said the Attorney has a copy of that policy, and his letter states that there are two different issues to deal with: the assembly ordinance and the Mayor’s Office Policy.  The letter says that the Administration can make its own policy as the Administrative body of the government.  Mayor Gonzales said the letter also cautions the Assembly regarding “setting anything in stone”, because there are always circumstances that can appear when you least expect them. 


Discussion followed and MUELLER stated that the ordinance gives a time line of 5 working days for the Administration to respond to a request.  USIBELLI said the office policy does not allow a person to get the tapes from a meeting for thirty days and this ordinance says something else.


Mayor Gonzales said the office policy wouldn’t be able to contradict the Assembly ordinances.  He reminded the Assembly that the legislative laws and the administrative laws should not be mixed, and the Assembly should remember not to micromanage the administration.


USIBELLI stated that she agrees that the Assembly cannot micromanage the administration, but when it comes to the public record, it’s the public’s constitutional right to obtain information.  She said she would like to see this issue resolved.


TALERICO said he has perused the Mat Su Borough’s ordinance and it is very similar to this one.  He said this ordinance protects the public and the employees of the Borough.  TALERICO said he is a little confused about the “locked in stone” comment.


Mayor Gonzales said the Assembly has to be careful not to be too stringent.  He said when the Assembly makes new laws the government will inevitably grow.  


USIBELLI asked why the administrative code has not been updated since 1997.   She asked if that is going to be updated.  Mayor Gonzales said it would be updated.


3.)   Ordinance 02-02, Version B, an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2002 Budget.


Mayor Gonzales stated that when the Assembly agrees on a budget they cannot go over that bottom line but they can amend the budget, but that amount cannot exceed the bottom line.  He said this budget amendment needs to be amended because some of the line items need adjusting.  Mayor Gonzales said the dues, subscription and advertising line item, and bonding and insurance line item will need to be adjusted.  He said these items have exceeded the budget for that line item. 


4.)  Ordinance 02-03, Version B, an ordinance establishing the Fiscal Year 2003 Budget.


Mayor Gonzales stated that this year the Borough has had to struggle more than any other year to come up with the money that was requested of us.  He stated that last year we used the entire assembly budgetary reserve fund that generally goes into the next year.   He said that was because of the funds needed to complete the Tri-Valley School upgrade.  He said there have been several requests for funding that he is asking for support for, and they add up to approximately $50,000.


MUELLER stated that yesterday the School Board gave the Assembly a prioritized list of major maintenance projects.


Mayor Gonzales said the requests for funding come from the Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department for a repeater, from the Anderson Volunteer Fire Department, and the Denali Borough School District.  He said that the Anderson Volunteer Fire Department has finally come up with an accurate number of people in their EMS/Fire service area.


5.) Ordinance 02-04, Version B, an ordinance establishing the Denali Borough six-year capital improvement plan.


Mayor Gonzales said this is the plan, but nothing can be spent without the approval of the assembly.


Denali Borough School District Superintendent Chris Hagar recommended adding the Cantwell School Sprinkler System to this ordinance. 


Hagar asked what would happen if the Legislature chose not to fund their project, then would every thing slides down in this ordinance.  Mayor Gonzales said yes.


CASWELL stated that he would like to get more detailed justification for these requests.  MUELLER said the Assembly and the School Board would be holding a joint work session next month. 


Mayor Gonzales said the amount ($39,000) he is going to ask for would take care of the first four of their requests.  He said that money will have to come out of the assembly budgetary reserve line item and he suggested that the assembly hold that money until those four projects are completed.  MUELLER said these are immediate needs.


CASWELL stated that these are borough buildings and we are responsible for them.  He said the Assembly should pay the actual cost of the project, not including the Administrative fee that gets tacked on, which includes part of Peter Cubby’s salary.  He also said he would like to see the Borough pay the contractor directly.


CASWELL said he is suggesting that the Borough pay after the projects are completed, not before. 


Minimal discussion followed.


6.)  Discussion regarding establishing chair and vice-chair, different from the Presiding officer, during the Planning Commission section.


MUELLER stated that we are getting more and more planning commission business and it would be a good idea to have a different person chair the planning commission section of the agenda.  HALL concurred, and said that would help the public distinguish between the Assembly and the Planning Commission.


ADJOURNMENT      MUELLER declared the work session adjourned at 2:45 pm.




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