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City and Borough to form Cooperative Relations Committee

This week, the City of Kodiak and Kodiak Island Borough will be taking the final steps toward streamlining coordination and hopefully reducing costs for running the two largest municipal bodies on the island.

It will be called the Cooperative Relations Committee, comprised of three members of the City Council and three members of the Borough Assembly. While the committee will not have any power to affect policy, they will be making recommendations about how and where the two bodies can collaborate on services.

Some of these services could include state and federal lobbying, local nonprofit grant funding, infrastructure, and fire/ambulance dispatch services.

Even though the city and borough governments have what are called joint work sessions each quarter, some members feel that there’s more work to be done, and that this committee could help.

City Council member John Whiddon: “There are obstacles to communication and open dialogue. And as time goes by, our two bodies haven’t brought together, and those obstacles to communication seem to grow, the distance seems to grow between the two bodies. I think this could be an effective way to break down those barriers.”

The city council voted to enact the committee on their end in April.

Council Member Bob Stanford: “I would hope there’s areas that we can work together on. When people ask us where you’re from, I’ve never heard anyone say I’m from the borough of Kodiak or I’m from the city of Kodiak; it’s I’m from Kodiak. I would think there’s ample places to work together and find things that are mutually beneficial to everyone on the island.”

Borough Assembly member Aimee Williams supports the joining the committee, even if just for ironing out the nonprofit funding process. “Even if no other thing came from it, streamlining that process and making it so that nonprofits can apply to one entity and go from there—that, hands down, is enough reason to go for it, so I am in full support of it, and everything else is just frosting.”

The borough assembly is set to join the Cooperative Relations Committee at Thursday’s regular meeting.