Assembly meets to set objectives

Mayor proposes design competition for new capitol on Telephone Hill

Posted: Monday, October 25, 2004

During a retreat session for the Assembly Sunday afternoon in the city chambers, Mayor Bruce Botelho introduced an upcoming design competition for a new capitol. Since January, the mayor has been leading a commission to plan a new capitol on Telephone Hill.

"This will be one of our most important projects next year," he said.

Holding the capitol design competition is one of the goals set by the Assembly for next year. Assembly members - including the newly elected Jeff Bush and Johan Dybdahl - were meeting to set objectives.

"This is the first opportunity for the Assembly to share our individual goals and wish lists," Botelho said.

The Assembly first reviewed last year's goals, some of which are pending or behind schedule.

The previous Assembly planned to adopt the Long-range Waterfront Plan between January and March of 2004. But the Assembly hasn't adopted it yet because of the complexity of the issue and the cruise ship industry's delay in responding to the plan.

The new Assembly will continue reviewing Eaglecrest Ski Area's business and operation plans, exploring expansion of recycling and other municipal waste issues, and assessing the needs for social services.

The new Assembly also wants to identify funding to expand the city's sewer system, develop a post-incident plan and review plans to construct a community center in the Mendenhall Valley.

Bush said the retreat was very similar to a goal-setting session when he served on the School Board.

"It's especially important for new members to understand the rules and issues," Bush said. He said he would promote construction of a second crossing across Gastineau Channel - part of his campaign platform.

Deputy Mayor Marc Wheeler said he would like to see the city explore the idea of cottage housing. Assembly member Merrill Sanford said he hopes the city can honor employees more often and engage students in local politics. Botelho said he wants the city to develop a financial mechanism for the waterfront plan.

"Our wish list is probably much longer than we will ultimately be able to accomplish, but we believe we will invariably make progress," Botelho said.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at

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