(Juneau Empire File)

Letter: Why the urgency in appointing Loren Jones to the Assembly?

At the end of the July 10 Assembly meeting (specifically at 10:17 p.m.), after the Assembly honored departing member Carole Triem who resigned, Mayor Beth Weldon announced she was nominating Loren Jones to be appointed to the soon-to-be-vacant areawide seat on the Assembly.

The Assembly unanimously approved this appointment.

There are only three scheduled Assembly meetings between now and the October election. What was the urgency to fill this seat and why was there no public Assembly discussion before the 11th-hour unanimous vote? Candidates are already filing for the October election, so why not discuss leaving the seat open and allowing the public to fill the position in the October election?

Why, if the Assembly wanted to fill the seat, did they not solicit applications from other former Assembly members or interested citizens? There was no discussion about qualifications for the temporary position. Do we know if Jones will serve as a placeholder until the October election, or is he considering running for the remaining two years of the term?

Was there a prior meeting where our Assembly members discussed all of this? When did they decide to fill Triem’s position instead of leaving it vacant and not advertising the opening to the public, but instead selecting Jones? Why did they not tell us if Jones intends to run for the seat — and why were they giving him a leg up if he is running?

Inquiring minds like ours should want to know!

PeggyAnn McConnochie