Four days and almost twenty hours of public comment and for some people, like APDEA Treasurer Gerard Asselin, it's still not enough time for the public to speak out.
"It's not, and the reason is this, what you're talking about is about 22-hundred employees that will be affected by this and operations that run this city of about three-thousand people with almost half-a-billion dollar budget," Asselin said.
Last Wednesday, the Anchorage Assembly voted to hold one last public comment session on the proposed city ordinance from 6 PM to 11 PM. But Assembly Chair Ernie Hall feels like the assembly has given the public enough time to let their voice be heard.
"I think it's a reasonable time," Hall said. "Twenty hours on a single topic is a reasonable amount of time. I've got legal direction that says we're good. We've given opportunity for individuals to speak."
On Friday, the Anchorage ACLU sent Hall a letter saying the assembly is limiting the right of Anchorage citizens.
"They need to be allowed to testify as long as there are individuals that want to testify," ACLU Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman said. "What individuals were told were they could line up and you'll get their chance to testify. What the Anchorage Charter says is you have the right to testify. They can't just arbitrarily cut off debate."
Mayor Dan Sullivan says the assembly is within its rights.
"The assembly has the right to set their own rules," Sullivan said. "When it comes to public hearing, what they have to do is make sure that the amount of time is reasonable. After tonight, there will have been 20 hours of public testimony."
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