Thursday night the Kodiak City Council passed an ordinance barring citizens or groups from putting similar ballot initiatives before the voters for at least one year if the measure fails the first time. It was an issue that arose last year after a referendum was put on the ballot asking residents if it would be okay for the city employees to consider collective bargaining. Currently, city employees are barred from unionizing.
Jake Metcalfe, executive director of the Public Safety Employees Association, which backed last year’s failed initiative, said the city’s ordinance was "bad public policy," and that its vagueness might result in a lawsuit.
— (Council 1 29 sec "Therefore I think there’s a … to face in the future.")
Councilman John Whiddon did not appreciate what he saw as a legal threat from Metcalfe:
— (Council 2 25 sec "I would like to say to the … wrong approach to take.")
Councilman Tom Walters was even blunter in reaction to Metcalfe:
— (Council 3 25 sec "This is the kind of things … this collective bargaining.")
However, Metcalfe, who’s served on the Bethel City Council and the Anchorage School Board, bristled at Walter’s remarks about him being an outsider:
— (Council 4 54 sec "My family has been her over 100 … I can take that.")
Ironically, the city’s ordinance barring the return of failed initiatives was voted down the first time it came before the council in early November. It was brought back up on a reconsideration vote in mid January.