Local boards and committees will see new faces filling assembly seats.
In a Thursday night special meeting, the assembly approved Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerrol Friend’s shakeup of assembly appointments.
Friend’s restructured the list of assembly appointments to boards and committees to give assembly members more exposure to different issues.
“I had several people call me and talk that they felt comfortable on a board,” Friend said. “If you feel comfortable on a board that’s a good reason not to be on there anymore because we need other people to find out what these boards do,” he said.
Friend said that when he served on the assembly for six years, he sat on the same two boards the entire time and didn’t really have an idea what the other boards even did.
“We have to make motions and move and make decisions on these boards,” he said. “That’s what I really tried to do was to get people informed with what people do.”
While most boards and committees have new representatives to them, a few positions were kept the same because assembly members were in the middle of large projects.
Assemblyman Mel Stephens said he agreed with Friend’s idea to give assembly members exposure to other boards and committees.
“I support the idea that the assembly as a whole will function better if we don’t have people who are always on one board,” he said. “It’s not that someone sitting on one board doesn’t do a good job … I think that benefits the assembly as a whole by eventually leading to a more educated assembly.”
Assemblywoman Carol Austerman said she disagreed with rotation because some boards are extremely involved and have a difficult learning curve.
“When you’re on a board that you’ve been active on for a long time, and you’ve taken the time and energy to learn everything that you need to know to be an effective board member that switching that up makes it very difficult for you to be an effective member of that board,” she said.
Assemblyman Dave Kaplan said longevity was required on some committees and boards.
“There are some boards, depending not he year or the dynamics of the board that I believe require some longevity by the liaison of the assembly,” he said. “There’s trust issues.”
The assembly approved two changes to the borough’s board and committee appointment list: Austerman will continue sitting on the Providence Health System Service Area Board and Kaplan will continue sitting on the Kodiak College Council.
Assemblyman Frank Peterson was Friend’s suggestion for the Kodiak College Council, but assemblywoman Chris Lynch said Kaplan should retain the seat because of his experience.
“I think seniority when it comes to some boards has more pull than others,” she said. “Consistency is another issue.”
The motion to keep Austerman on the hospital board passed 6-1 with Stephens voting against. The motion to keep Kaplan on the college council passed 5-2 with Peterson (Friend’s suggested new representative) and Stephens against it. The other appointments were approved 6-1, with Stephens voting against them.
Austerman will sit on the Kodiak Workforce Regional Advisory Council, Kodiak Fisheries Work Group, Providence Health System Service Area Board, and School District Strategic Planning Committee.
Kaplan will participate on the Economic Development Committee and Kodiak College Council.
Peterson will sit on the Architectural Review Board and the Kodiak Fisheries Advisory Committee.
Lynch will sit on the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group and the School District Facilities Review Committee.
Stephens will sit on the Parks and Recreation Committee.
Aaron Griffin will sit on the Joint Building Code Review Committee and the School District Budget Advisory Committee.
Friend will sit on the Emergency Services Council, Fisheries Oceanic Research Board, and the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group.
Kodiak’s remote communities also received new assembly representatives.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at email@example.com.