More than one hundred people were on hand Tuesday evening in Nenana to hear the
presentation of a paid Juneau-based consultant, centered around a potential borough in the
Tuesday's meeting, at the Nenana Tribal Hall, was organized by Barbara Sheinberg, and
sought to explain five potential scenarios for the city that include two different, newly formed
boroughs, the choice of remaining unorganized, or hitching their affairs to the Fairbanks North
Star and Denali Borough's, of which Nenana is a neighbor of both.
The study is drawing a great deal of controversy in the small city of approximately 400 people
55 miles south of Fairbanks.
And many of those who showed up for the meeting, right from the beginning, didn't hold their
feelings back about the study, or Sheinberg's visit to Nenana.
"It's a money-grab plain and simple," yelled one resident. "The city is so broke, they've become
Even an attempt by Sheinberg at humor was quickly shot down by members of the crowd.
"Stop laughing," yelled one woman. "This is our lives you're talking about."
The Nenana City Assembly voted in January to proceed with a study, using a $75,000 state
grant to pay for the study.
Mayor Jason Mayrand said residents would benefit from more information about the borough
process, prompting Sheinberg's visit and subsequent presentation.
"I would hope people listen to what is being said," Mayrand said in an interview with News
Center 11 in Nenana.
"It's for informational purposes only, but at least we're (the City) doing something."
But State Representative David Guttenberg, who represents District 38 that also includes
Nenana, says he see's things differently.
"I've received countless emails, phone calls and other correspondence about this," the
Fairbanks Democrat said.
"I'm here to listen, but I can tell you this one thing. This is not only a huge mistake, but it's
also not very well thought out."
Sheinberg said she should have a draft report completed in September, followed by a three-
month public comment period.
A final report is scheduled to be completed by January 2014.