On Tuesday, District 38 Representative Zach Fansler gave his annual update on the legislative session. Usually the local representatives of both houses update the Bethel City Council, but Senator Lyman Hoffman was unable to attend.
Bethel City Council members Leif Albertson, Naim Shabani, Mitchell Forbes, Mayor Richard Robb, and Raymond "Thor" Williams were in attendance for the meeting, with Vice Mayor Fred Watson and Mark Springer participating via telephone.
On Tuesday night, the Bethel City Council postponed action on a tax exemption for rental property owners. The measure would allow exemptions to cover utilities, specifically fuel costs. The new language in the tax code outlined four requirements to obtain an exemption, but met with some pushback from city administration. City Attorney Patty Burly has pointed out that the proposed new language may be problematic because it creates a specific exemption solely for landlord/property owners.
It was late arriving, but a letter from Bethel's Fire Chief raises serious concerns about Alaska Commercial Company's existing liquor store. The company's General Manager is flying in to be present when the City Council meets to consider lifting its protest of the company's application for Bethel's last remaining liquor store license. There is also a competing application.
All seven City Council members were in attendance for the regularly scheduled October 24 meeting, with Mayor Rick Robb out of town and attending the meeting via telephone. Vice Mayor Fred Watson took on the Mayor’s responsibilities in Mayor Robb’s absence.