The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District building is closed on March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District building is closed on March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly looks to shorten meetings, focus on COVID-19

Resolution would suspend discussions not related to the pandemic or other time-sensitive matters.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will meet tonight to discuss a handful of measures related to the COVID-19 global pandemic and how the assembly will conduct future meetings.

Tuesday’s meeting will be physically closed to the public, but residents can watch the meeting on Zoom or by calling in.

The assembly will take up a resolution that will suspend certain items on the assembly’s agenda during the declared COVID-19 disaster. This will focus the agenda on pandemic measures and other time-sensitive ordinances and resolutions.

“This resolution would temporarily suspend some items on the agenda during this difficult time to shorten the meetings and allow for more efficient use of time for everyone involved,” an April 20 memo from assembly President Kelly Cooper to the assembly said.

The assembly will be focusing on the borough’s budget for the next few months, making future agendas “lengthy,” the memo said.

“Managing the delivery of these meetings remotely creates more staff time from multiple departments and I believe it would be helpful to find efficiencies when able,” the memo said.

The resolution, submitted by Cooper, would suspend invocations, proclamations and commending resolutions and presentations not related to the pandemic or other time-sensitive matters approved by the assembly president. These agenda items would only be suspended while meetings are held telephonically, and would resume when the assembly meets in person again.

An ordinance to be discussed at the meeting, also introduced by Cooper, would allow her to reschedule assembly meetings and suspend rules to allow assembly members to attend more meetings telephonically.

Current borough code restricts the number of times an assembly member can call into meetings to three times a year. The ordinance would allow members of the assembly additional opportunities to call into the assembly meetings and give Cooper the ability to reschedule regular assembly meetings because of the declared COVID-19 disaster.

To watch Tuesday’s assembly meeting on Zoom, use this code: 128 871 931 or visit https://zoom.us/j/128871931. To attend the Zoom meeting by telephone call toll free 1-888-788-0099 or 1-877-853-5247 and enter the Meeting ID: 428 871 931.

More detailed instructions will be posted on the borough’s website kpb.us.

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