At its regular meeting on Thursday (02/01), the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly failed to renew a contract with the city of Kodiak. The agreement was for the city to provide 911 services to some of the region if the borough collects a surcharge on phone lines within its boundaries.The tax reimburses the city for its operation and maintenance of the E 911 system.
The previous contract between the municipalities had expired and the new one would’ve continued the partnership, while also updating the terms of the agreement. Recently, the city upgraded the system it uses to manage emergency calls. To help pay off this expense, the borough increased its surcharge to $2 per phone line and updated its policy so cell phones would also be charged the fee.
At a past meeting during an executive session, assembly members requested an opinion from the borough’s lawyer on its arrangement with the city. The request isn’t public since it was done during an executive session. The assembly hasn’t received a response from its lawyer yet but expects to in the near future.
Assemblywoman Julie Kavanaugh wanted to postpone voting on the contract so the assembly could make its decision after it had heard back from the borough’s attorney, but her motion was defeated in a 3-2 vote.
Assemblyman Matthew Van Daele and Assemblyman Dennis Symmons were not present at the meeting. So, even though three assembly members voted to postpone voting on the contract, they were defeated. For any motion to pass, four votes are needed.It doesn’t matter how many assembly members are at a meeting.
After that vote, the assembly moved forward to make a final decision on the contract, which it failed. The vote was, once again, three in favor and two against. Assemblywoman Kavanaugh and Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner opposed.
Since the assembly failed to renew the contract there is no valid agreement between the city and the borough pertaining to the region’s 911 services according to borough manager Michael Powers. Borough staff will take into consideration the assembly’s discussion at last night’s meeting and present another possible contract at a future date.
Powers says no assembly member indicated they wanted 911 services provided by the city terminated or suspended.