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Come to this vital forum

Posted: June 15, 2011 - 8:11pm

An important community meeting will take place on Monday from 7–9 p.m. at the City Assembly Chambers.

Should the city municipality opt-out of the existing Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) requirements of financial disclosure for public officials? In its place the city proposes an Ordinance that will replace the current APOC regulations. Whether the new city ordinance will provide the equivalent, more, or less protection for the public is among the issues to be discussed.

At this time, there appears to be possible placement by the City Assembly of this new Ordinance on the October ballot for a vote of the people.

I think this opt-out of APOC and shift to a city ordinance requires serious deliberation by the people and all decision makers. Is it genuine protection for the public’s interest to have optimum disclosure of financial interests and involvements from public officials? Is it protection for public officials to be able to avoid possible online financial disclosure, possible identity theft, and requirements to provide sensitive information? What is the true purpose of either the APOC or the rdinance?

Bear in mind that the proposed ordinance will apply only to City Assembly members and candidates, school board members and candidates, planning commission members, and the city manager.

Current APOC statutes may be reviewed at legis.state.ak.us/basis/follow.asp. The proposed ordinance 2011-13(b) can be seen at www.juneau.org. The State APOC is developing a new set of proposed APOC regulations yet to be implemented. That website is doa.alaska.gov/apoc.

This forum will provide information about both APOC as well as the new proposed ordinance. There will be a panel of speakers knowledgeable about the issues. There will be ample possibilities for questions.

This forum is an important part of Juneau’s participatory democracy. I encourage people to attend and weigh in on this issue.

carolyn V Brown

Douglas

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