CBJ City Manager Rorie Watt discusses Cruise Lines lawsuit against city on Action Line

    The Assembly was updated on the lawsuit by the cruise ship industry against the city on use of marine passenger fees at the regular Assembly meeting Monday night.

    Posted Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 5:38pm by Lance David

    The Assembly was updated on the lawsuit by the cruise ship industry against the city on use of marine passenger fees at the regular Assembly meeting Monday night.

    The lawsuit alleges CBJ has spent the proceeds from the Entry Fees, or significant portions thereof, on activities that are unrelated to and/or that have not provided any benefits to passengers and vessels. That includes $10 million collected and allocated to build a manmade recreational island, elevated walkways, and infrastructure to support a whale statue located nearly a mile away from the cruise ship docks.

    Action Line host Pete Carran asked City Manager Rorie Watt to comment.

    "I think that on a really simple level, we're defending our right to charge fees and provide services to cruise ship passengers," Watt responded. "I think we do a good job of that. We provide all kinds of services for those million passengers a year that come here, and I think we have lots of good stories to tell and I don't think it's any more complicated than that. We're charging a fee and we're providing good services. They've posed US constitutional questions; I'm not a constitutional scholar, but I think we have good programs and responsibly use those funds. I think the long view is that as a community in the early 2000's, we argued a lot about the growth of tourism and we solved that problem with our waterfront plan in 2004. The waterfront plan called for two main features: the cruise ship dock - which is under construction today - and a waterfront sea walk. We're doing exactly what we said we would do in 2004, we're just twelve years later."

    The original Complaint named Kimberly A. Kiefer as an individual defendant; however, she has since been succeeded as Juneau City Manager by Rorie Watt.

    Federal Rule allows for the automatic substitution of an official’s successor.

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