SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Chamber and "Citizens for Ketchikan's Future" continue negotiations


August 07, 2007

Ketchikan, Alaska - The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce continue negotiations with members of "Citizens for Ketchikan's Future". "Citizens for Ketchikan's Future" (CKF) is a citizens' group formed in May 2007, which has proposed a ballot initiative to limit the density of stores exclusively selling jewelry within the City of Ketchikan.

According to a Chamber of Commerce news release, during the July 30th meeting, a healthy dialog was exchanged between the two organizations regarding non-divisive solutions to help promote diversity and vibrant business in specific areas in Ketchikan.

The number one request from the Chamber of Commerce to the group Citizens for Ketchikan's Future is that the jewelry store initiative not be brought to the ballot.

During the meeting, the group "Citizens for Ketchikan's Future" requested a proposal on specific ideas to present to the sponsors of a recent ballot initiative that would mandate which select businesses could operate where in our community. The following proposal was the result of that meeting.

  • A collaboration of cornerstone entities in the community, including Citizen's for Ketchikan's Future, Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, Historic Ketchikan, Ketchikan Visitors Bureau, the Vision 2020 group and others to be named.
  • A comprehensive community study conducted by an independent consulting firm, paid for by grant funds applied for through local government.
  • A request from citizens who signed recent petitions desirous of business diversity to support the collaborative efforts of this proactive proposal.
  • A plan of action to successfully accomplish the goals of the recommendation of all of those involved with this process.
  • A goal to recruit a professional mediator to help accomplish all of these goals.

A subsequent meeting was held again in the Chamber Board Room on August 3rd between select sponsors of the initiative and representatives of the chamber. The purpose of the meeting was to see if the Group Citizens for Ketchikan's Future would be interested in working with the Chamber of Commerce and other key community groups to recruit divergent and vibrant businesses to Ketchikan and withdraw a harmful ballot initiative that would single out a specific industry. The meeting lasted close to three hours and consisted of 23 concerned attendees. Attending were sponsor representatives and several Chamber Members. A clear decision about working together to fulfill both groups desire for a divers economic landscape in Ketchikan was requested from the group "Citizens for Ketchikan's Future. Though no definitive answer was given during the meeting interest in collaboration was expressed by group spokespeople. On Monday, the following statement was issued to the Chamber from group representatives'.

"As promised, we've initially examined possible alternative initiatives to bind the Assembly to community planning activities. However, the challenge we face at this point is how to craft local legislation that would require the Assembly to do something that it is already required to do under State law. If we, together with you (the Chamber) , can come up with an alternative initiative that all parties support, representatives of this initiative will make every effort to convince remaining initiative sponsors to pull the petition. You should also be aware that a majority vote of the sponsors would be the final decision whether to pull the initiative or not. With this said, it our recommendation that we begin the task of working together to initiate and advocate for concrete planning effort in the community. We'd be delighted to hear from you regarding any specific ideas or initiatives that your organization may have.

The Greater Ketchikan Chamber said in the news release that it is intent on working to protect the rights of all businesses present and future and plans to work to continue to recruit ardent diverse businesses to compliment the existing business community with any group or individual willing to invest time.


Source of News:

Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce


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Ketchikan, Alaska