Thousands of dollars are being spent on campaigns for and against the New JACC

Thousands of dollars are being spent on campaigns for and against the New JACC

Bumper stickers, signs and ads come at a price.

Anyone who’s driven through downtown Juneau or caught local commercials can see and hear the evidence that people are spending to support the proposed New Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

But there’s also a group working to urge people to vote against a $4.5 million grant for the project, and that group is buying signs, bumper stickers and radio time ahead of the Oct. 1 municipal election.

Worried Juneau Taxpayers is a group that exists to oppose the New JACC-related ballot measure known as Proposition 3, and so far it’s spent thousands of dollars.

Denny DeWitt, chair for Worried Juneau Taxpayers, told the Empire in a phone interview he and the group oppose Prop 3 for a number reasons. Dewitt said he’d rather see taxpayer dollars spent elsewhere, in his opinion the New JACC is not practical and it shouldn’t be built with public funds since it will be a privately owned building.

He sees it as an unnecessary project that’s bound to lose money.

[Assembly delays JACC funding]

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Executive Director Nancy DeCherney disagrees with that assessment on all counts. She told the Empire the New JACC project would be a good value for the city, would bring construction work to Juneau, is needed to replace an aging city-owned structure and has a financially viable future.

So far, Worried Juneau Taxpayers have spent $3,228 to spread their message, according to Alaska Public Offices Commission reports. Worried Juneau Taxpayers have collected $6,250 in contributions across 14 contributions, according to the report.

The group’s expenses are spread across three reported checks. Two of them are $114 checks to Alaska Litho Print and Media Services for bumper stickers and the third was a $3,000 check to Juneau Alaska Communications for “radio,” according to reports.

The Partnership, a group that serves as the New JACC’s fundraising branch, has also been spending money, according to reports, and reported expenditures show them far outspending the competition.

Filed expenditure reports show totals of $5,733.60 in a form filed Sept. 8; $4,151.14 for a Sept. 19 form; $12 on a Sept. 20 form and $4,638.18 on a Sept. 20 form.

As an example of where that money is going: Expenses listed on the Sept. 20 report include a $2,016 check to Juneau Radio Center, credit card charges of $859.80 and $228.75 to Commercial Signs and Printing for signs and banners, a credit card charge of $23.63 to Heritage Coffee for coffee for volunteers and a $1,500 check to Partnership campaign manager Minta Montalbo for campaign manager fees.

The New JACC is just one of thee propositions on the ballot. The other two are tied to issuing bonds to provide funding for Centennial Hall renovations and a temporary hotel-motel tax raise to help offset that bond debt.

That’s attracted some spending, too, according to expenditure reports.

A report submitted Sept. 21 shows an entity called Support Centennial Hall that backs the propositions for issuing bonds reported a $9,017.40 check to Juneau Radio Center for a radio advertisement.

“It is not meeting industry standards as far as conventions,” said John McConnochie, one of the group’s officers, of Centennial Hall. “Not only the space, but the AV equipment, and the HVAC badly needs work.”


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


More in News

A Juneau Police Department community service officer vehicle cordons off a road as officers took a man wanted on a $50,000 warrant into custody. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Police arrest wanted man following armed standoff

A shot was fired by the suspect, but no one was injured.

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of July 3

Here’s what to expect this week.

Alaska State Troopers are helping to investigate a fatal fireworks-related accident that occurred in Gustavus early on July 5, 2022. (Juneau Empire File)
Troopers investigate fireworks-related death in Gustavus

The casualty occurred early Tuesday morning.

A very young oystercatcher chick waits for a parent.  (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Oystercatchers, pinesap and spittlebugs

At the mouth of Cowee Creek, sometime in mid-June, we’d found a… Continue reading

Mia Halloway (6) grabs a cotton candy with her dad in Savikko Park. A long string of kids stood in line to grab a cotton candy from the Twhrly Whrliy Cotton Candy stand on a bright and sunny Fourth of July afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Fun and sun mark holiday in Douglas

Hot dogs and panting pups present for festivities.

Rachel Hurst hands her son Benjamin, 4, a beach ball to throw to the crowd from the Hawaiian-themed Juneau Urgent Care float during the July 4 parade in downtown Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau, the state of the union is festive

Melting pot of states, cultures and colors join in healthy unity for July 4 parade in unique times.

A Coast Guard aircrew and a Good Samaritan vessel rescued four mariners after their boat capsized in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, July 1, 2022. (Courtesy photo / USCG)
Good Samaritans rescue 4 after boat capsizes

The boat sank in Glacier Bay National Park.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, July 5, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

t
Police calls for Saturday, July 2, 2022

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read