Etheridge appointed to Docks & Harbors

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The Juneau Assembly has appointed former Assembly member Don Etheridge to the city's Docks and Harbors Board.

The Assembly voted Monday to appoint Etheridge to the nine-member panel by an 8-1 vote, with Marc Wheeler voting no. Etheridge, who lost an election to Stan Ridgeway this fall, had been the Assembly's liaison to the Docks and Harbors Board.

The Assembly met behind closed doors to discuss the appointment on Monday. It interviewed candidates for the job last year. Marine engineer Wayne Wilson and Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska port manager Andrew Green also applied.

Etheridge came under scrutiny during the fall election over whether his newly acquired boat can be kept in the previous owner's slip at the city harbor. Etheridge said this fall that he hadn't met ownership requirements for the boat that would lead him give up the slip under city rules.

The Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association forwarded a packet of materials to the Assembly last month from a private investigation into the matter, according to a letter from MEBA attorney Joe Geldhof to City Attorney John Corso. MEBA opposed Etheridge's appointment based on the boat-slip issue, the letter said.

Assembly member Randy Wanamaker, who made the motion to appoint Etheridge, said he concluded the Docks and Harbors Department was acting properly and it was a "non-issue."

"Harbors is fully aware of it. ... If something does come up they will act at that time," he said.

Wanamaker said Etheridge has shown an understanding and familiarity with harbor issues, which is why he voted to appoint him to the board.

Wheeler, who voted no, said he wanted to see another candidate appointed "to get some new people involved with local government."

Geldhof declined to comment about the issue on Tuesday. Etheridge, who is out of town, could not be reached for comment by the Empire's midday deadline.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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