Community leaders from around Alaska will be meeting in Kodiak this week to discuss common concerns and to set priorities for the coming year.
The Alaska Municipal League-composed of 140 cities, boroughs, and unified municipalities-represents more than 97 percent of the state’s residents.
Borough Mayor Jerome Selby says the AML gives small towns which normally have one voice in state issues a chance to join with others to make a loud chorus that is hard for lawmakers to ignore.
He says AML membership allows the borough to form coalitions with other similar towns-and with towns with similar concerns-to give them the oomph needed to get funds for things like roads and schools.
He says there are two or three things AML members will be sure to talk about this week:
— ((Muni League Local 1 1:04 "One is…federal transportation bill."))
Selby says the state needs to come up with a way to pay for transportation expenses on a regular, long-term basis.
Speaking of transportation issues and roads, Selby says it was the AML that was such a big help in getting funding for the Woodland Acres road paving….
— ((Muni League Local 2 :34 "If you’ve been…destroy your automobile."))
City council member Gabriel Saravia (Gay-bree-el Sa-rah-vee-ah) says the AML helps to bring things to the attention of the governor and legislators by highlighting the importance of various issues to Alaska’s small towns.
— ((Muni League Local 3 :16 "Most of the time…sometimes we lose."))
Mayor Selby says both Governor Sean Parnell and Congressman Don Young have been invited to Kodiak to speak. But with the funeral of Former Senator Ted Stevens this week, both Parnell and Young’s offices have arranged for a representative to be here if they are unable to attend.
The group of community leaders is meeting at the new convention center Wednesday thru Friday.