With a unanimous vote, the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved submitting a question regarding consolidation to the borough voters at the upcoming election.
The Oct. 4 ballot will read: “Should the Kodiak Island Borough pursue the idea of consolidating the Kodiak Island Borough and the City of Kodiak into a single unit of government?”
No one commented during the public hearing at Thursday’s meeting.
Several assembly members said they just want public input on an important topic.
“This is not committing the assembly to anything, this is not a final vote to consolidate or not. This is really asking do you want us to put more time and more resources into researching the costs and the pros and cons of moving forward,” assembly member Rebecca Skinner said. “I do support asking the public what the public wants to do, because I think there are costs that come with having two governments, but there are costs with combining them as well, and I would like to know what the public things before we do anything, and I don’t want to assume that the public doesn’t want us to move forward with this, either.”
Kyle Crow, who originated the ordinance, said, “It appears to me that we have too much government for too small of a community.”
The ordinance approved by the assembly is slightly different from the one proposed at the July 14 work session.
The original included language that the assembly could “take further action, if it chooses to as a result of the advisory vote, in a form of a resolution to give direction to staff to prepare a consolidation petition …”
The approved version removes that section.
In other business, the assembly postponed the $120,000 purchase of seedlings for replanting borough-owned land in Chiniak.
Borough manager Michael Powers said additional review time was needed.
“The contract just came back in last night, and we did not get that out to you,” he said. “Accordingly, we did have some changes by the attorney, and we would like to recommend that we push that back to the 18th so that you have adequate time to review the proposal.”
The assembly will take up the contract again at their Aug. 18 meeting.