Fairbanks City Council has a light agenda tonight for its regular meeting tonight, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The only item slated for a public hearing is amending the collective bargaining agreement between the city of Fairbanks and the police union to convert two full-time police officer positions to full-time public safety assistants.
Public Safety Assistants would be used to help patrol Golden Heart Plaza, which has been the focus of concern for a segment of the city’s most aggressive homeless population.
Public safety aides will be considered a civilian position and not a sworn officer.
At a previous council meeting, Chief Constable Ron Dupee said the duties would not be limited to simply patrolling the square and could be extended to working with the public in key areas such as the center -city or using traffic control.
Since the positions require an amendment to the agreement between the city and the Association of Public Safety Employees, Fairbanks Police Department Chapter, both organizations had to vote on and approve it. Dupee said the union approved it with little opposition.
The annual salary for one position is $85,220, according to a city tax memo. The positions would be covered by departmental salary savings resulting from vacant positions.
City council will also be asked to propose an ordinance amending the city’s budget for the third time this year and to approve a resolution sponsored by council member Aaron Gibson.
Both items are considered consent items, approved in a general vote unless only one is withdrawn for further discussion.
The resolution opposes a proposed Borough of Fairbanks North Star ordinance introduced by Assemblywoman Tammie Wilson to restrict the attendance of city and school board delegates at Assembly meetings.
Currently, city and school board delegates can participate in debates and discussions, and city delegates can sponsor orders for an Assembly agenda. Wilson’s order would remove those abilities, limit delegates to a five-minute report and allow debate on school district or city issues, but only if the governing body takes an official position.
The budget change request, sponsored by Mayor Jim Matherly, reflects adjustments to increased revenue projections and additional spending.
Council also has a business meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to receive an update on the plan for downtown Fairbanks. The business meeting is for discussion purposes, with no vote taken by the Board.
The plan is a multi-agency plan aimed at long-term downtown development, covering everything from parking and transportation to housing, development and economic development.
Rather than being prescriptive, its intention is to provide a holistic framework and resources aimed at revitalizing the region.
The tools would include a vision and goals for the area, a summary of key issues, and a future land use map indicating which types of land uses will be prioritized in which areas.
The regular meeting and business session will take place at Fairbanks City Hall, 800 Cushman St. or will be streamed live online via Zoom. The council meeting will also be broadcast live on KFBX AM 970 radio.