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


Borough looks to change appointment process


The Haines Borough Assembly is looking to change the way residents are appointed to boards, committees and commissions. The change is sought to increase transparency and information available to the public, proponents say.

The assembly voted 4-1 at its Jan. 14 meeting to introduce an ordinance that increases the amount of information committees are required to provide when recommending a resident to fill a vacant position on the committee.

Mayor Stephanie Scott, who is required by charter to make the appointments, said the procedure in the past has involved minimal work: a checked box on an application stating what committee the person wants to sit on and a stamp by the clerk.

“Even though they are asked for their qualifications, it is rarely provided,” Scott said. “The clerk gives the paper to the committees, the committees meet, decide what they would like to recommend to the Mayor and they provide a name to the Mayor. A name. Nothing else.”

“What this ordinance does is require the committees to simply provide a reason for why they’re making the recommendation they are making,” she said.

The Mayor is also required to provide the reasoning to the assembly.

Scott and resident Mike Denker crafted the ordinance after it was tabled several months ago to increase its scope.

Assembly member Debra Schnabel called the ordinance a “sound policy” move, but assembly member George Campbell said he wouldn’t vote for it.

“I totally agree with everything that is in here, but I don’t believe this needs to be in code. This should be in a written policy manual saying what our steps are, because every time we turn around, we are fighting against code for one reason or another,” Campbell said.

Recent appointments include Rob Goldberg and Heather Lende to the Planning Commission; Jim Shook, Anastasia Wiley and Jan Hill to the Museum Board of Trustees; and Glen Jacobson, Terry Pardee and Don Turner Jr. to the Ports and Harbor Advisory Committee.