Borough Assembly Says They are not Trying to Overturn Propositions 3 and 4

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - During a special assembly meeting Thursday night, Borough Assembly members listened to many concerned citizens who believe the assembly is trying to find a way to overturn ballot propositions three and four. There was debate on whether the meeting was held with the intention of trying to overturn the propositions.

Fox resident, Lynette Clark, said, "To me, it is an obvious political end run of trying to negate the sacredness of our individual vote and our right to be sure it is heard and that this kind of action doesn't happen."

Fairbanks resident, Joel Baldwin, said, "We've been told that the borough, assembly or at least the mayor is getting advice on how to overturn the ballot initiatives and that's why everybody is sitting here tonight. I mean, I can read, and that's my informed opinion."

One resident, Sam Tuck, asked the assembly directly whether they have talked to the administration about overturning the propositions.

Borough mayor, Karl Kassel, said, "No one that I am aware of has advocated trying to flip either of the propositions here."

After hearing from the citizens, the borough attorney, Jill Dolan, started her discussion and direction on how these two propositions affect the borough moving forward for the tax cap.

Dolan said, "You don't have to take any action, it just becomes law upon certification of the election and where that is generally relevant in your budget process."

Dolan says the borough needs to decide how they want the borough's air quality program to move forward within the limitations of the initiative.

"It would be up to you, or to the administration, whether you want to maintain your current staffing and say we're going to run an education program with this current staffing along with a wood stove change out program or whether you say we're going to transition this entire program to the DEC," she said.

It was not lost on Presiding Officer Kathryn Dodge, who scheduled the meeting that many citizens lack trust in the borough.

"Please accept my apology, I certainly did not, I'm very sorry that this was so disruptive to so many, that was certainly not my intent," she said.

The propositions go into effect once the election is certified which will be on October 25.