Local government news from the KUCB Newsroom.

Greta Mart

The topic of commercial marijuana sales in Unalaska attracted a handful of residents to speak their minds at this week's city council meeting. As was the case during a similar work session at the Nov. 24 council meeting, there were strong opinions on both sides of the argument.

Roughly half of those who spoke up want the council to pass a resolution banning any retail marijuana stores from opening on the island. The other half called for the council to take no action. That would allow anyone to apply for a state license to open a retail store.

Greta Mart

The former director of the city's planning department is now second in command at City Hall. On Thursday, Erin Reinders, AICP was named as Unalaska's new assistant city manager.

By Friday afternoon, Reinders was acting city manager, after David Martinson left town for the holidays.

Chrissy Roes

In December of 2014, the Unalaska City Council held a work session on the pressing housing issues on the island. City officials and the public brainstormed ways to lessen the financial and administrative burden on people who wanted to create new residential rental businesses, and the burden on those who already own and operate such units.

As a result, City Hall staff looked at creating a business personal property tax exemption.

City of Unalaska

  November was an award-winning month for Unalaska city staff and public officials. 

Earlier this month, the city's planning director, Erin Reinders, was named 2015 Planner of the Year. The Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association selected Reinders and her work from among dozens of planners around the state. Unalaska's planning administrator, Anthony Grande, also received an award from the APA's Alaska chapter. Grande was selected as this year's Emerging Planner of the Year.

Chrissy Roes

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, a work session on commercial marijuana sales in Unalaska prompted an earnest yet respectful debate among attendees.

Just like the results of the online and paper surveys distributed by city staff at a recent public forum on the topic, opinions were split roughly 50/50 for those for and against allowing a cannabis businesses to open on the island.