LOBBYING

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The City of Unalaska has hired former mayor Frank Kelty as its fisheries lobbyist.

The City Council approved his one-year, $51,000 contract last month in a narrow 4-3 tiebreaker vote.

KUCB's Hope McKenney called Kelty in California — where he retired last year — to ask what he'll be doing in his new role.

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Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The City Council's top priority is the "stabilization" of Unalaska's commercial flights.

On Tuesday, councilors voted unanimously to update their state legislative initiatives ahead of a lobbying trip to Juneau next month.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

GCI has applied to bring broadband communications to communities along the Aleutian chain.

The proposed project would bring fiber optic cable from Kodiak to Unalaska, spanning approximately 860 miles.

Dan Boyette, Vice President of GCI, said getting the financing arranged and support from the business community for this project has proved to be a challenge. 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska needs to be ready to fight for state funding in fiscal year 2021.

City lobbyist Dianne Blumer delivered that message Tuesday to the City Council.

She said she expects Gov. Mike Dunleavy to continue pushing for steep budget cuts to education, health care, and other state services that are critical to the community.

"It's not a promising picture," said Blumer. "I hate to be the gloom and doom here, but I anticipate the cuts that didn't happen this year are going to be taken up again for next session."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Continued ferry service and shared fisheries taxes.

These are some of the new lobbying priorities under consideration as the Unalaska City Council prepares for meetings next month with its state and federal lobbyists.