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
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
- 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
"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.
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