JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - City and Borough of Juneau Manager Rorie Watt says a face to face meeting between the CBJ Assembly and Governor Walker is in the works.
"We're trying to schedule a special Assembly meeting. It looks like it will be Sept. 8th at noon in Assembly chambers. Our message is we need the legislature to come up with something that works. They've made some steps and we've had some of our local delegation support parts of a fiscal solution, but we need the whole legislature to come together for a complete plan and then everybody else in the state can figure out how we're going to move forward."
The Assembly Finance Committee met earlier this month to decide how to bridge a $4 point 9 Million fiscal gap caused by a reduction in state funding. Watt says we have the resources to make good rational plans moving forward:
"We're going to try and do that in a stable and smooth way, because we don't want to negatively affect our economy. If we react too wildly, we know that is going to be a problem, and we don't need to. We have the resources to manage Juneau well."
Watt added this caveat:
"Even though we have the resources in the short run to manage this, everybody should understand, with the changes in the state economy and because of the price of oil, in a year or two or three, we're in all likelihood going to looking at a smaller size local government. People don't need to panic about that, because it's our job to do that well. The context is, if we have this $4.9 million budget whole and we've got our reserve of $16 million, we can manage that, but we're talking about that in the context of a core government services of $95 million So yes $4.9 million is a problem, but it's a $4.9 million of a $95 million budget, and we have our saving account. So as we move forward, we're just going to have to make careful choices on what we do and what we can afford."