Haines will play host to the Alaska Municipal League Summer Legislative Conference next week.
The municipal league is a nonprofit, statewide organization that advocates for local governments’ interests and provides training.
AML holds a summer legislative conference each year to reflect on the most recent legislative session and plan for the upcoming year. Kathie Wasserman heads the organization.
“The overall, broad goal is to give the membership sort of a general overview of what happened as far as the main municipal issues and then where we need to go next year,” Wasserman said. “And just talk about the lay of the land with the legislature next year.”
One of the major issues Haines is facing is the closure of its Alaska State Trooper post. Assembly members have characterized the decision as part of a trend of the state shifting responsibilities to municipalities.
“That’s huge for everyone, and it’s different of course in each community,” Wasserman said. “Whether it’s troopers, jails, just name it…Road maintenance money, airport maintenance money. That is being pushed onto municipalities, and you know it’s gotta come from somewhere. And the only way municipalities have to raise money is through fees or taxes.”
At the summer conference, AML begins working on resolutions and priorities that are finalized at its meeting in November.
The event also includes the Alaska Conference of Mayors and the Alaska Municipal Management Association. Those two groups will hold day-long meetings on Wednesday, Aug. 16 in Harriet Hall.
The legislative conference follows on Aug. 17. Gov. Bill Walker has been invited as the luncheon speaker.
Haines tourism staff say the AML event is bringing about 100 visitors to town.
Haines residents who want to attend can register for the conference at akml.org.