The Haines Borough Administration Building. (Google Maps)

There are hundreds of pages of Haines Borough Code that dictate everything from assembly procedures to land use.

It’s the newly-formed Code Review Commission’s job to find redundant or unnecessary pieces of code and recommend changes.

At a meeting last week, the commission spent more than an hour debating where to start.

The incentive to clean up code was born out of the community’s negative reaction to a minor offenses ordinance. The ordinance brought to light the number of small violations that exist in borough code.

But the commission decided not to start with minor offenses. They instead chose Title 2, which deals with administration and personnel.

In an email, commission member Daniel Humphrey suggested that starting place. Humphrey said in light of recent ‘dynamics’ around the assembly’s relationship with the borough manager, that part of code could use a closer look. In December, the assembly fired manager Bill Seward during his six-month evaluation. There’s been significant turnover in the top borough job.

Commission member Don Turner Jr. supported starting with Title 2.

“I think being that we’re getting ready to hire a new manager and stuff, personally I think it’s a real good place to start at,” Turner said.

Chairman Mike Denker pushed to prioritize the code around signs. He says based on his research, Haines’ sign ordinance violates the First Amendment.

“So these are potential legal liabilities for the borough,” Denker said.

The commission will tackle the first two chapters of Title 2 at its next meeting on March 2. Those chapters deal with borough officers and employees and the code of ethics. The signs ordinance is also on the agenda.

After addressing those two topics, the commission will move to minor offenses.