Kathleen Totemoff from Ouzinkie was elected to the board of directors and Louise Stutes from the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly was selected as treasurer for the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) during its annual economic summit and membership meeting last week.

Totemoff joins current local board members Stutes and Trevor Brown, director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.

Meeting in February, members of SWAMC get to speak with a unified voice about their priorities for the current legislative session in Juneau.

The conference dealt with a variety of issues important to communities in southwest Alaska, among them renewable energy and energy efficiency. The membership voted to support the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant and state funding for renewable energy projects.

Affecting the fishing industry, SWAMC members support state funding of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s definition of state waters. They opposed the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of genetically engineered fish.

Members also voted to support the extension of the Alaska Coastal Management Plan and retain Essential Air Service for their communities.

Stutes said the conference was wonderful, with relevant and interesting topics for government leaders.

In addition to the resolutions passed by the attendees, Stutes said, one of the most valuable experiences at the conference is the opportunity to interact with other government leaders from our part of the state.

“That’s a huge part of it,” Stutes said. “We’re all in the same boat.”

Stutes said the conference doesn’t attempt to deal with issues that would have a positive outcome for one member community and a have a negative outcome for another.

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