The name and makeup of the Haines Public Safety Commission will remain the same. The assembly did not advance an ordinance that would have implemented changes.
This summer, the public safety commission voted to request three ex-officio members be added to its group.
It asked to add a representative from SEARHC, Lynn Canal Counseling Services, and the Haines School.
The commission later recommended its name be changed to the Public Health and Safety Commission. It also recommended amending the commissions ‘duties and responsibilities’ as laid out in code, to add ‘provide a forum and coordinate with professional agencies for health issues as they relate to public safety.’
At an October meeting, the assembly voted to remove the name change. And last week, the group did not advance the ordinance that would have made changes to the commission’s composition.
There was no motion to adopt the ordinance.
Borough Manager Debra Schabel asked assembly members to explain why.
“Tonight there was an ordinance that has been heard three times. Tonight there was no action taken. I think it would be only fair for the assembly to give some indication of why it’s not moved to move on the action that has been requested by your public safety commission,” Schnabel said.
“I think some of the testimony that we’ve heard from the public just wants a simple commission and doesn’t see any restraint on having the commission consult with various experts in the community on the various projects that they’re working on,” said Scott.
Tom Morphet agreed with Scott. He said he supports bringing those additional professionals into the conversation at the public safety commission. But, he doesn’t think there needs to be a code change to do that.
Heather Lende said there were some issues with the way the ordinance was written, that could be an issue in the future, giving her pause.
“I think the intent is fine,” said Lende. “And I think it’s within the purview of the public safety commission to address issues of – behavioral, substance abuse issues as they relate to law enforcement.”
Sean Maidy said he did want to see the ordinance adopted. But, he recognized it wasn’t the will of the assembly.
“I’m walking away from this trying to keep in my head Chief Scott saying whether or not we adopt this, he’s going to act this way regardless because this is the future of policing,” said Maidy.
The commission will retain its current composition as laid out in code.