Haines Borough Assembly member and a public safety commission applicant are pushing to seek its board appointments after Mayor Jan Hill stopped scheduling meetings.

At last Tuesday’s assembly meeting, Hill said the commission wasn’t working, in part, because the assembly rejected a public safety commission proposal to change its name and membership make-up.

“The manager and I, because the recommendation that was forwarded to the assembly was not acted on when they requested we change the name and we add the resource people… (we are going) to see what we could do to put that commission back together. There’s not enough of the former members that want to stay involved right now.”

This summer Haines Police Chief Heath Scott proposed the commission change the name to the Public Health and Safety Commission. He also proposed they add three ex-officio members to the commission to represent SEARHC, SEARHC’s Lynn Canal Counseling and the school.

The public safety commission approved of the idea and forwarded the recommendation to the assembly.

The borough assembly rejected the recommendation in November. The general consensus among assembly members was that the commission can utilize those experts without changing borough code.

Two public safety commissioners have recently resigned, leaving three, and there hasn’t been a meeting since October. December’s meeting was postponed and Hill directed commission chair Michael Fullerton to indefinitely postpone scheduling a future meeting.

Six residents have since applied for the two empty seats. Assembly member Brenda Josephson told Hill during last Tuesday’s meeting that she wants to see new members seated so the commission can move forward.

“The assembly said no on the change as it is,” Josephson said. “It’s the obligation for our committees to continue to go forward and it’s the obligation of our Mayor to make the appointments at this time. I encourage at the next meeting that we do have names for appointments to approve.”

Hill said she and the manager might change the make-up of the committee, and the appointment process also might change.

Assembly members Tom Morphet and Tresham Gregg questioned Hill’s authority to change a committee.

“I should be able to think,” Hill told Morphet. “The commission wasn’t working. I’m trying to fix something and I’m sorry you disagree with me, but that’s the way it is.”

Assembly member Stephanie Scott said she wanted to see Hill’s plan for the commission.

Paul Rogers, a former police officer and 911 dispatch manager, submitted an application to sit on the public safety commission. Following the exchange between Hill and the assembly, he wrote a memo to the assembly requesting they make appointments.

He cited sections in Title 2 of code that requires boards to appoint new members, and the Mayor to appoint board members per committee recommendations.

Because the meetings have been postponed, however, the remaining three public safety commissioners have been unable to recommend new members.

“Three members constitutes a quorum so the Public Safety Commission could have and should have held a meeting to consider the applicants as required by code,” Rogers wrote.

Hill told the CVN she hopes to have recommendations for appointments by the next assembly meeting.