Tourists view Juneau’s downtown harbor in August 2015. A newly formed task force will consider tourism-connected concerns and report to the Assembly in February. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Tourists view Juneau’s downtown harbor in August 2015. A newly formed task force will consider tourism-connected concerns and report to the Assembly in February. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

These two task forces could shape what summers in Juneau are like

City creates groups to answer tourism and Eaglecrest questions

The City and Borough of Juneau has two new task forces that could shape how Juneauites and visitors spend summer months in the capital city.

At Monday’s CBJ Assembly meeting, Mayor Beth Weldon announced Visitor Industry and Eaglecrest Summer Operations task forces.

“I’ve been busy,” Weldon said.

[Live: CBJ Assembly creates task forces]

The Visitor Industry Task Force is a 10-member group made up of eight community members and two Assembly members, and its purpose is to advise the Assembly and advance community thought on tourism-related topics.

Since Juneau is seeing more than a million visitors annually, tourism has become a source of frequent public complaints, and the task force will consider management of the visitor industry, the long-range waterfront plan and the possibility of a hard limit on tourists among other topics.

[Tourism set to grow again next year]

The task force will report to the Assembly by Feb. 28.

Assembly member Carole Triem will serve as chairwoman for the task force, and a vice chair will be elected at its first, not-yet scheduled meeting. Proposed members of the task force are Assembly member Wade Bryson, Kirby Day, Paula Terrel, Holly Johnson, Alida Bus, Dan Blanchard, Meilani Schijvens, Bobbie Meszaros and Craig Dahl.

The Eaglecrest-focused task force will be a six-member group composed of three Assembly members and three Eaglecrest Board members.

Weldon said during the meeting the purpose of the group is to bridge the gap between the speed at which Eaglecrest would like to implement its proposed plans for expanded summer activities and the pace at which municipal governments move.

[Not just a ski area?]

Proposed Assembly members for the task force are Bryson, Triem and Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski, who will serve as chairwoman. Proposed Eaglecrest board members of the task force are Mike Satre, Bruce Garrison and Jonathan Dale.

They’ll be tasked with researching examples of summer business investments that have worked at other ski areas, restrictions that are on the Eaglecrest Ski Area because of acceptance of Land and Water Conservation Fund grants, analyzing business models and more.

The committee will report to the Assembly at either the Lands Committee or the Committee of the Whole and expires within nine months, unless it’s extended.

Longest-serving city official gets recognition

At the same Assembly meeting that introduced the new task forces, a longtime city official received a sendoff.

Mary Becker, who served nine years on the Assembly and nine years on the school board, was recognized for her public service.

Mary Becker, who served a combined 18 years on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and Juneau school board, listens while Mayor Beth Weldon recognizes Becker’s service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)                                Mary Becker, who served a combined 18 years on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and Juneau school board, listens while Mayor Beth Weldon recognizes Becker’s service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Mary Becker, who served a combined 18 years on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and Juneau school board, listens while Mayor Beth Weldon recognizes Becker’s service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire) Mary Becker, who served a combined 18 years on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and Juneau school board, listens while Mayor Beth Weldon recognizes Becker’s service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

“Mary Becker is the longest-served elected official in Juneau. Ever,” Weldon said.

During Becker’s time on the school board, she served as president, vice president and clerk. While on the Assembly, Becker served as both deputy mayor and mayor after the death of Mayor Greg Fisk.

“Her tireless work for Juneau is unparalleled and something to strive for by our younger generations,” Weldon said.

Becker thanked Weldon and her fellow Assembly members for their kind words.

She said she enjoyed her time on the Assembly and asked Juneau residents to support her colleagues.

“Keep being supportive of the Assembly because they really need the support of the community,” Becker said.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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