Borough to hire new clerk

The Haines Borough Assembly unanimously directed borough manager Debra Schnabel to negotiate a contract with deputy clerk Alekka Fullerton for the position of Haines Borough Clerk. Borough Clerk Julie Cozzi announced her retirement this year and will retire at the end of March.

Fullerton was hired as deputy clerk Sept. 26, 2016. Fullerton will start in the new position effective March 1. She was the sole applicant for the position. Borough manager Debra Schnabel said she plans on leaving the deputy clerk position vacant.

Micro grows nixed from ordinance

The assembly voted unanimously to remove a “micro grow” marijuana cultivation provision from a commercial marijuana zoning ordinance.

Haines Borough Planning Commission Chair Rob Goldberg suggested adding a micro grow option to a draft ordinance in September that would allow up to 150 square feet for a micro grow in all borough zones. He said it removes a barrier to entry for individuals wanting to conduct a cottage industry. The planning commission voted unanimously to support such an operation that would allow small-scale businesses in residential zones.

Assembly member Heather Lende said she thought commercial marijuana cultivation should stay out of residential zones, a concern shared by assembly member Brenda Josephson.

State regulation allows up to 1,500 square feet for limited marijuana cultivation facilities. Assembly member Sean Maidy said adding a micro grow option would bog down the state’s permitting process and add unnecessary regulations.

Safety commission delayed again

The assembly delayed a vote on public safety commission appointments after failing to secure a majority vote on either of the commission’s recommendations. The commission recommended Pat Hefley and Chuck Mitman to serve on two empty seats.

Assembly members Brenda Josephson and Tom Morphet wanted to appoint former Michigan police officer and 911 dispatch director Paul Rogers instead of Hefley.

Morphet cited Rogers’ 30 years of law enforcement experience and involvement in local committee and assembly meetings.

“We have three or four retired long time police officers in Haines, he’s the only one who’s stepped forward to get involved in the public safety commission,” Morphet said. “I think it’s incumbent upon us to take him up on his offer.”

Assembly members Stephanie Scott and Sean Maidy supported Hefley, who is the local SEARHC administrator.

“He can guide them in thinking about opioid and drug use problems that are plaguing us, (problems) that we don’t really know about and he certainly does,” Scott said.

The motion to appoint Rogers in place of Hefley failed 2-3 with Lende, Scott and Maidy opposed. Assembly member Tresham Gregg was absent. Any motion needed four votes to pass. The vote to appoint the commissioners was postponed to a future meeting.

All meeting to be live-streamed

The assembly unanimously approved borough funded audio live-streaming of borough committee, commission and advisory board meetings on KHNS. The borough will pay KHNS $40 a month for the service. Last November, KHNS began live-streaming assembly meetings. To live-stream government meetings, visit at each meeting’s scheduled time. A schedule of borough meetings can be viewed at

Burn permit rules expand

Borough staff will tweak an ordinance requiring annual burn permits in all fire service areas.

The ordinance requires individuals, borough-wide excluding Excursion Inlet, to notify the police department before they “burn combustible materials outdoors within any fire service area.” Now only individuals within the townsite fire service area are required to obtain a burn permit.

Assembly member Tom Morphet said he doesn’t have phone service where he lives and wants to see the notification requirement removed.

“If I’m up there on a Saturday and I want to burn my toilet paper I’m SOL, according to this,” Morphet said.

Assembly member Brenda Josephson said using the words “combustible materials” was too vague. “Someone could decide that that means you can’t have a campfire in this borough,” Josephson said.

Borough manager Debra Schnabel said staff could amend the language requiring burn permittees to notify dispatch, as well as language excluding campfires.

The Haines Volunteer Fire Department requested that annual burn permits and notification requirements apply to all fire service areas so dispatchers can inform callers who report smoke that a controlled burn is occurring.

The assembly will review the ordinance again at its next meeting.