The Ordnance Review Subcommittee has failed to adopt and follow any coherent process. Each meeting has outlined next steps but the subcommittee has continuously changed them at the next meeting. There seems to be no long-range process or logical procedure. The City Manager recommended a deliberative process built on public participation and widespread education on the topic.
“Success in discussing this topic requires special handling, patience, substantial public communication, and durable decision-making,” Watt wrote in the memo. “Mines take years to lease, finance, permit and develop and any CBJ decisions must take that timeline into account.”
Watt wrote, that the city needs to be absolutely sure that changing the ordinance is the right thing to do before it does it. Making a sound decision takes time.
This has not been the case. There has been no public participation with the exception of Mr. Clark who spoke at a meeting where no public participation was to be allowed, and again at the invitation of the subcommittee. Member Beth Weldon then suggested removing the social economic requirement without following the previous decision to have the author of the study commissioned by CBJ explain its findings or allow opposition to speak. It is obvious that there is still much confusion on the subcommittee about what impacts are considered under NEPA, the scope of state and federal regulatory authority, the role of agency discretion in implementing rules, and the need for the Planning Commission to have the tools to avoid and mitigate impacts to CBJ values.
Chair Gregory needs to set a rational procedure and stick to it.