Emergency planning should figure into the work of several Juneau Assembly committees in the months ahead, Mayor Sally Smith said Monday as she announced new leadership assignments.
Assembly member Ken Koelsch is the city's new deputy mayor; Jim Powell will head the Finance Committee; and Dale Anderson is the new chairman of the Planning and Policy Committee.
The changes followed the departure of John MacKinnon and Cathy Mu-oz, who didn't run for re-election this fall. Newly elected Assembly members Jeannie Johnson and Randy Wanamaker, along with Powell, a re-elected incumbent, were sworn in at Monday's meeting.
Smith said she expects emergency issues will be a consideration for several Assembly committees in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Human Resources Committee and the Finance Committee likely will be involved in emergency planning, she said.
"I can't imagine that we're going to get through these next few months without beefing up preparedness," she said.
Assembly member Don Etheridge will continue as chairman of the Human Resources Committee. Smith said she'd also like that panel to set up procedures that better address how issues flow through committees.
"It's been whatever committee chair wanted to bring up whatever subject, even if it wasn't the appropriate committee," she said.
Smith said she also wants Assembly committees to make sure the public is heard and all bases are covered before issues go before the full Assembly.
Koelsch, who will oversee Assembly work sessions as deputy mayor, said the location of a new Valley library is one of the first things he would like to see addressed.
As head of the Finance Committee, Powell said Assembly members need to review some unfinished tax questions before the start of the year.
The city will enter a new two-year budget cycle next year. Powell expects emergency planning, the threat of a legislative session move and uncertain revenues to figure into the financial picture.
"I hope we don't have decreased revenues, but we may," he said.
Marc Wheeler will continue as chairman of the Lands Committee and represent the Assembly on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Frankie Pillifant will head the Public Works and Facilities Committee.
A retreat for Assembly members tentatively is scheduled Nov. 1 at the Chapel by the Lake, Smith said. It is open to the public.
Joanna Markell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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