Newly elected Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, has brought three Juneau residents in to staff her newly established office representing House District 4, commonly known as Juneau's Valley District.
We've "got some people who really know Juneau, and who many people will already know," said Muñoz.
The 25th Alaska Legislature gets underway this afternoon. The House of Representatives, in which Muñoz and Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, sit, will get under way at 1 p.m.
The Senate, in which Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, sits, will be gaveled in at 2 p.m. Elton will not be in attendance, however. He's in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Among Muñoz' staff will be Terry Harvey, a former staffer for Representatives Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau, and Andrea Doll, D-Juneau, and others.
Harvey said he's eager to once again put his knowledge of Juneau's people and its issues back to work for Muñoz.
"After 31 years in Juneau, I know a lot of people," he said.
Joining Harvey on the staff is Kendra Kloster, a former staff member at the Department of Law, and Shannon Fields, formerly with the Department of Fish and Game.
Muñoz has won a position as co-chair of the Community and Regional Affairs Committee, considered important for local issues such as protecting the capital.
Harvey, her chief of staff, will serve as the staff person for the committee work as well.
Muñoz said the Republican-led Majority Caucus will have a strong influence from members outside the cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks, including three recent additions of rural Democrats. The committee expects to play an active role in the Legislature this year, she said.
Kloster will be responsible for the bills Muñoz sponsors. One already getting notice is a bill to move new state employees back to a defined-benefit pension plan.
Rounding out the staff is Fields, who handles scheduling duties and office management.
All will be involved in constituent relations work, Harvey said.
"There's no doubt in my mind that Juneau gets an elevated amount of drop-in visitors," he said.
Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 5423-2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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