Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Lapp seeks meeting time limits

 


Haines Borough Assembly member Jerry Lapp wants to outlaw long meetings.

Lapp introduced an ordinance last week that, if passed, would end regular and special assembly meetings at 9:45 p.m. If the assembly wanted to allow the meeting to carry on into the night, four members would have to vote to continue.

Mayor Stephanie Scott said she has no problem with the change, given that she is “pretty brain-dead after 9 p.m.”

“The members of the assembly are not just taking in; they’re thinking and putting out. It’s quite exhausting, and I think that possibly (Lapp’s) on to something... I don’t think that really good business can be transacted late into the night,” Scott said.

Manager Mark Earnest said he doesn’t have an opinion on the ordinance one way or the other, but pointed out that assembly members get paid a meager stipend to do “a lot of work” and work “long hours.”

“There is something to be said about keeping focus after so many hours of meetings. A lot of times we’ll have a committee meeting preceding the regular meeting and we can be there for six hours, and we have been for longer,” Earnest said.

Under the ordinance, if a meeting is not adjourned by 9:45 p.m., the assembly will vote on whether to continue the meeting or to reschedule the remaining items for a future agenda.

Assembly member Debra Schnabel said long meetings are usually the result of poor pre-meeting planning.

Schnabel and Scott both said meetings don’t often run past 10 p.m.

 
 

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