Haines residents have another chance to weigh in on proposals for a broadened police service area and excise taxes on tobacco and marijuana.
Those are two of the items up for hearings at Tuesday’s Haines Assembly meeting.
Neither has a smooth route to passage.
Establishment of a new ‘community safety’ service area would need to pass a public vote. But it might not even be ready for assembly approval.
The service area idea is a response to Haines’ loss of an Alaska State Trooper. It would expand police protection throughout most of the borough, including to the Haines Highway, Lutak and Mud Bay Road neighborhoods.
But it’s drawn resistance from the volunteer ambulance crew and outer-borough residents. The borough manager and clerk asked the assembly to spend more time on the question instead of rushing to place it on the Oct. 3 election ballot.
The excise tax ordinance would establish a per-unit tax on tobacco and marijuana products. The assembly is divided on the proposal. Some think it would generate revenue for the borough while discouraging unhealthy behaviors. Others think it would hinder the new marijuana industry or unfairly burden low-income residents.
If the assembly can’t agree, it could send the excise tax question to a public vote. Borough staff have provided an alternate ordinance that would do that.
The assembly will also hold a second hearing on a charter amendment ballot question. That would let voters decide whether to alter charter to make the manager the only borough employee who serves at the pleasure of the assembly. Right now, charter says the clerk, chief fiscal officer and attorney also serve at the assembly’s pleasure.
There is an initial hearing on an ordinance to place regulations on companies like Uber and Lyft. It would also reduce the insurance requirement for taxis.
The meeting is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in assembly chambers.