A long-time Kodiak city council member won the prestigious Vic Fischer Leadership Award for his dedicated service to the city at the 2019 Alaska Municipal League Conference.
“I want to thank the city for nominating me,” Charlie Davidson said. “I feel honored to receive such an award. I am humbled.”
City of Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson received this award in 2014.
“Councilman Davidson is the longest serving council member in Kodiak with 26 years of service and his consistency and exceptional historical memory has guided the city into the future,” said Branson, who attended the conference.
Of his many years of service, Davidson said he is most proud of how the council and staff have maintained the city’s expensive infrastructure.
In addition to being on the council, he has been a member of numerous local boards including the Kodiak Historical Society, Kodiak Police Advisory Board and the Public Safety Advisory Board.
Davidson also has served on national boards such as the National League of Cities Transportation Board and Small Cities Council Steering Committee, as well as others.
Kodiak Island Borough Assemblymember Scott Arndt, who was present at the conference, said Davidson’s award was “well-deserved.”
“Charlie was extremely surprised and enlightened; it was great. He was speechless. It was a pleasure to be there,” Arndt said, adding that Fischer, the sole surviving member of the Alaska Constitutional Convention for whom the award is named, presented Davidson with the award.
The Alaska Municipal League presents the award to one member a year to recognize local government officials who show a significant statewide contribution to improving local government and communities in Alaska.
ALASKA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE
The nonprofit league is a statewide advocacy group for local municipalities that represent the voice of local governments in state and federal decisions.
The conference, which ran from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, held presentations on issues affecting Alaska’s communities such as climate change, online sales tax, homelessness and housing, and economic development.
At the conference Kodiak signed the agreement with AML to be part of the sales tax commission.
“I’m glad that AML took the lead on this,”said Kodiak City Manager Mike Tvenge who was present at the conference. “This is going to be a very big deal for Kodiak and revenue source. It’s not an added tax, it’s really collecting tax on online remote sales and having a competitive market with our local businesses that have to pay sales tax.”
In addition, representatives from each member community voted on 14 resolutions to inform the Legislature of their opinions on a variety of issues.
Some of the resolutions that passed were in support of funding for local school bond debt and increased investment in the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund.
At a meeting on the ferry system, members discussed the effects of the winter schedule and the fate of the M/V Tustumena.
“All the coastal communities are hurting because of the ferry schedule,” Arndt said. “Part of the discussion (was) of the Tustumena with the governor and his administration wanting to basically turn it into a dayboat, which is criminal.”
The AML conference was well attended and had more attendees from smaller communities than in the past, Branson said.