The Code Review Commission on April 14 recommended to the Haines Borough Assembly a code change that would shift the power to suspend borough officers from the borough manager to the assembly.

Currently code says the borough manager can suspend officers — the borough clerk, chief fiscal officer and attorney. But only the assembly can permanently remove officers. (“Suspend” means to temporarily relieve an employee of duties without pay for up to 30 days within any 12-month period.)

“We have several places in our code that are terribly inconsistent,” said borough clerk Alekka Fullerton at the commission’s April 14 meeting. “One of the large inconsistencies is that the code says the manager can suspend a borough officer, (but) actually the manager doesn’t have the power to suspend a borough officer.”

Title 2 says borough officers can “be suspended by the manager subject to the appeal procedures to the borough assembly” but also that officers “serve at the pleasure of the assembly” and “shall be removed only by the assembly.”

Fullerton proposed that the Code Review Commission change code to say “borough officers may only be suspended by the borough assembly.” Fullerton said the basis for shifting power of suspension to the assembly is to maintain checks and balances, so officers can challenge the manager without fear of reprisal.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend the change to the assembly.

The Code Review Commission also unanimously recommended a slight code change with regards to appealing board, committee and commission actions or decisions. With the revision, appeals would need to be filed with the clerk instead of the manager. Appeals properly filed within 10 days still would need to be on the next assembly meeting agenda, but the Mayor would no longer explicitly be tasked with putting it on the agenda.

“An appeal is a right; it is not subject to the mayor’s discretion,” Fullerton said, adding that this change was mostly grammatical but “important” nonetheless.