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Dybdahl receives warm farewell

Posted: October 15, 2013 - 12:06am
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Outgoing Assemblymember Johan Dybdahl, left, gets a reaction out of Mayor Merrill Sanford during his comments at the start of Monday's Assembly meeting. Dybdahl was replaced by Kate Troll.  Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Outgoing Assemblymember Johan Dybdahl, left, gets a reaction out of Mayor Merrill Sanford during his comments at the start of Monday's Assembly meeting. Dybdahl was replaced by Kate Troll.

Outgoing City and Borough of Juneau Assembly member Johan Dybdahl was given a warm farewell at Monday’s meeting.

Several of the assembly members commented favorably on Dybdahl’s quiet nature.

“There’s three things I’m trying to take away from working with you,” assembly member Jesse Kiehl said. “The first is endless optimism, the second is to be thoroughly fair and the third, which I’m having a hard time with, is don’t say too much, unless you have something to add.”

Dybdahl was presented with two Tlingit paddles, one carved and one painted, and a letter from Sealaska President Chris McNeil and board member Albert Kookesh.

Mayor Merrill Sanford also presented Dybdahl, assembly members and Dybdahl’s children with engraved glasses that read, “This glass is half full.”

Dybdahl has served the city for 23 years, beginning with a stint on a city committee.

“I served on the planning commission and swore I’d never run for the assembly, and then I did,” Dybdahl said. “Thank God somebody came up with term limits.”

After a long applause from a full house, Dybdahl exited the assembly chambers followed by a half-dozen supporters dressed in red jackets and white newsboy caps; Dybdahl’s iconic outfit.

Incoming assembly member Kate Troll was sworn in before the meeting continued.

In other business

• The city manager was authorized to execute a site lease with Alaska Wireless Network at the Eaglecrest Ski Area. The proposed lease would allow a single 50-foot high wood pole with an antenna at the top. A 10-foot high wood fence would surround it. The initial lease would be for five years, renewable for up to three additional five-year terms. Alaska Wireless network will initially pay $750 per month, with a yearly 3 percent increase.

• $106,000 was appropriated to the Empty Chair Memorial to support the construction, installation and supporting educational materials for the project. $80,000 was provided by a National Park Service-Japanese American Confinement Site grant. The grant required a $40,000 match, which was raised by the Empty Chair Committee. The memorial will be installed at Capital Park and will honor Juneau citizens of Japanese descent who were sent to internment camps during WWII.

• $100,000 was appropriated to hire a consultant to prepare an economic development plan for Juneau, which was named as one of the assembly’s priorities for 2012-13. The money is provided by leftover balances on completed or closing projects. $39,647 would come from the completed Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance capital improvement project; $22,050 from the Wetlands Mitigation Bank capital improvement project; and $38,303 from the Lemon Flats second access right of way capital improvement project. Assembly members Kiehl, Troll and Loren Jones voted against the ordinance.

• $160,000 was appropriated to pay for legal services provided by the CBJ law department to Bartlett Regional Hospital and the Juneau School District. JSD and BRH both previously used outside counsel for their legal needs. The department intends to use the funding to hire an additional attorney and support staff.

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