The Kodiak Island Borough conference room was packed for Thursday night’s assembly work session.
The topic that brought 25 people to the meeting was a discussion of the proposed contract with Alaska Waste for curbside trash pick-up in Kodiak.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, speaker after speaker expressed opinions to the assembly members. The first to speak was Doctor Bob Johnson. He was also the only citizen who spoke in favor of the proposed plan. He said that he was on the assembly when a solid waste advisory plan was first written. Johnson said that only some of that plan was implemented.
— (KIB 1 "But it did …in the paper")
Another speaker brought along visual aides: Pat Holmes brought a box of bear skulls to visually emphasize his concerns about the use of bear resistant trash collection containers.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Larry Van Daele said he wanted to set the record straight about his views of the proposed plan. Van Daele read the letter that he had written to the borough to clarify those views.
— (KIB 2 "As I’ve noted …. Modify the program")
Van Daele said that although he opposes the curb side pickup, he is committed to working with the borough to find solutions to the problem of trash and bears.
After the public comment portion of the work session ended, most of the members of the public left.
Just a few stayed on to hear, what turned out to be the assembly’s long and detailed discussion about the contract with Jeff Riley of Alaska Waste.
Citing public opinion and concern about some of the details of the proposal, Assemblywoman Louise Stutes said she could not support the contract. She said she feels like the issue has been pushed on the assembly by members of the borough staff.
— (KIB 3 "I’m going to …wagging the dog")
Borough Manager Rick Gifford reminded Stutes that the contract talks were a result of the solid waste management plan that the assembly had approved.
— (KIB 4 "Staff doesn’t set … that we can.")
Assemblywoman Chris Lynch spoke to fellow assembly members about the need to move forward with this phase of the solid-waste management plan.
— (KIB 5 "We’re in year … work that way.")
The assembly members decided that instead of putting the contract to a vote next week at the assembly’s next regular meeting, a public hearing about the contract will be added to the meeting’s agenda.