BALLOT INITIATIVE: APOC OPT-OUT

The City and Borough of Juneau is asking voters to allow the city to opt-out of state laws regarding what financial information public officials are required to disclose.

Instead of following Alaska Public Offices Commission rules, the city would adopt its own. The city’s proposed rules are less stringent than the state’s law. Municipalities may opt-out of the state law with voter approval.

There are currently more than 100 municipalities and boroughs that have opted out, including Fairbanks and many Southeast communities.

Part of the financial information changes include that officials will no longer need to include the dollar amount of each income source, only the name of the source if it pays $1,000 or more.

Some Assembly members resisted that portion of the change, saying it’s important to know the full amount to know if someone is being paid a fair amount for work or if that amount is ballooned in some way. The new requirements also wouldn’t show how that money is earned — hourly, salary, contract, etc.

Others disagreed, saying the amount doesn’t matter to show there is a conflict of interest. It is against city law for these officials to take part in discussion or action on matters that are a conflict of interest.

The city’s initial proposal called for an express ban on posting the information online. Throughout the process, however, the Assembly has omitted that language, but still isn’t calling for a policy change to post that information online.

Citizen concerns expressed at public meetings largely hinged on availability of the information and accountability — both in how much information would be disclosed and concern over a future Assembly narrowing the requirements.

Public officials are interested in the measure because they believe more people will be willing to serve if the extent of financial information required is lessened. They also believe it is a balancing act between providing enough information for citizen confidence in determining a conflict of interest, and balancing the official’s privacy rights.

If the measure passes, the city’s code would go into effect and no further citizen votes would be required. Assembly changes to the code in the future would be required to go through standard Assembly processes of public hearings.

For side-by-side comparisons of state law vs. city code, the proposed city code and minutes of Assembly discussion on the issue see: bit.ly/r9u3XV.

More

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 07:37

NOAA to test tsunami warning system for Alaska this week

The annual test of the Tsunami Warning System is of great importance to Warning Coordination Meteorologist Joel Curtis at the National Weather Service. Read more

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 06:37

AWARE advocacy training

Ending sexual assault and domestic violence in Alaska takes a village, according to Juneau’s Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, and sometimes playing your... Read more

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 06:33

Officer spots stolen vehicle in line of cars while conducting traffic control for fire

A Juneau Police Department officer who took a report on a stolen vehicle Thursday spotted it later the same day — in a line of... Read more

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 06:27

Man arrested on assault, weapons charges after standoff

Juneau Police Department officers arrested a man on assault and weapons charges after a standoff Friday night reportedly precipitated by a domestic dispute.

Read more

Around the Web

 

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING