FAIRBANKS, Alaska - "I had no preconceived notions to veto or anything, my goal was to listen, see the finished product and then review my options, and that's exactly what I did," said Mayor Jim Matherly.
Earlier today, Mayor Jim Matherly decided to veto ordinance 6093. This past Monday the Fairbanks City Council passed the Equal Rights ordinance with a vote of 4 to 2. Despite postponing the vote and several workshops and public testimony, Mayor Matherly said the people should be making the decision on whether to pass the ordinance via the next election. We spoke to Matherly and a few city council members on their thoughts regarding the veto decision.
"After the ordinance passed, I knew what was ahead of me, and there were already people speculating on this veto, so I thought about it, I took it to heart, I really honestly did, and I came to a conclusion as to veto, which doesn't say goodbye forever, it's goodbye for now, because I think it is up to the council at this point to put something before the voters in the fall. I think they should have a say in this through the voting process,” said Matherly.
"Right now is a moment of reflection it's a moment to talk, it's not a moment to react. There are a lot of people who are rightly angry, there is a lot of distress, obviously that has been in social media immediately, I am sure that will continue for quite a while, but that is where the community says, no, no, this isn't us and then we can go forward and look at how we want to deal with that, whatever that means," said Kathryn Ottersten, Fairbanks City Council Member.
"I kind of had a hunch by Wednesday that we were heading towards something, either way it would probably end up on the ballot at this point. So the next step really is what does the council want to be on the ballot when it comes up in October,” said Jerry Cleworth, Fairbanks City Council Member.