Juneau City Hall on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Juneau City Hall on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

City creates economic task force to help navigate pandemic

Members include former mayors and business owners

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted to create an Economic Stabilization Task Force to help the city navigate the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The task force, created by Mayor Beth Weldon, will make recommendations to the Assembly on measures that could be taken to help businesses in a time of financial downturn.

“The City and Borough of Juneau needs to identify the infrastructure and community economic revitalization programs that will protect the segments of community,” the task force’s charter says.

Members will serve for six months, unless extended by the mayor, and the task force will meet at least once a week

According to the charter, members will “examine federal and state government financial assistance programs and identify and prioritize any ‘gaps’ that exist,” and “identify and promote strategies that enable businesses to continue operations safely such as curbside pick-up, take-away, delivery, and other innovative services.”

The task force will be chaired by Max Mertz, a professional accountant and Linda Thomas of Alaskan Brewing Co.

Also on the task force are former mayors Bruce Botelho and Ken Koelsch, True North Financial Credit Union CEO Lauren MacVey, Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska CFO Theresa Belton, Red Dog Saloon owner Eric Frost, Terra Peters of Flying Squirrel and Laura Martinson of Caribou Crossing.

All task force meetings will be open to the public and should solicit opinions from the general public, the charter said.

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