May 16 2008
Public Wants Lawsuit Over
Friday, 16 May 2008

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            The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly failed to override the mayoral veto paying attorney fees for three of its members at last night’s meeting.

            The vote to pay the legal bills of assembly members Tom Abell, Louise Stutes and Reed Oswalt in the Mel Stephens attendance lawsuit was four in favor of the override and three to uphold the veto. Normally, measures pass with four or more yes votes, but overriding a veto takes five votes. Originally, the measure that Mayor Jerome Selby vetoed, passed with five yes votes on May 1st. Pat Branson was the assembly member who changed her position, and she explained that public pressure swayed her decision.

            When the resolution to pay the legal bills passed two weeks ago, Branson, Abell, Stutes, Oswalt and Jerrol Friend voted in favor of it. Sue Jeffrey and Chris Lynch voted against it.

            Public opinion was on both sides of the veto, but came down squarely on the side of just getting it over with. Click the Play button to hear a sampling of the public comment on the issue, from before and after the vote.