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Files Petition to Repeal Fairbanks Port Authority

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December 18, 1996 the Interior Taxpayers' Association filed for an initiative petition to repeal the Fairbanks Port Authority. Why, you ask?

Tuesday, December 2, 1996 the Fairbanks City Council voted to establish a Fairbanks Port Authority - an entity permitted to issue bonds to fund projects approved by them. While some are worried about these bonds not requiring a vote by property owners, the real danger lies more in the layering of government - and the potential costs of the increased government. Among other things, the authority would be able to condemn property, own property, and lease property. The enabling ordinance also gives them the right to sue and be sued!

We have been told of several cases that illustrate the danger to property owners - cases where foreign companies persuaded port authorities to finance economic development proposals, but later pulled out, leaving the property owners "holding the bag." Port authorities seeking legal remedies were left to try and sue (for the millions they lost) a company in a foreign country. In Oregon, one community was also left with a well contaminated site that the EPA refuses to let them use!

This reminds us of the proposal for a pig farm that came from Denmark just a few years ago. Is this what would have happened to us if we had had a port authority to approve the project then? Only recently were we able to get out from under the Fairbanks Development Authority - an organization with goals remarkably similar to those of the proposed Port Authority. Incidentally, the ordinances setting both up are almost mirror images!

How about other economic development projects of the past? What kind of a track record do they have? Well, Alaskaland had to be passed on to the borough when the city could not afford to support it. And the Carlson Center, that voters were told would be self-supporting, is STILL in the red! Now the Council, which just spent 18 months advising us to get out of the utilities business, is suggesting that we get into the banking business! Don't we have enough bankers and real estate brokers in Fairbanks? Do we need the city competing with them?

How can you fight this? We dropped our petition when the City Council voted to put the question on the fall municipal election ballot. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO VOTE YES TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7.

If you have anything to say to the Council or Mayor, on this or any issue, you might consider sending a letter (or testify at any Council Meeting in person) to the City Clerk's office asking that it be copied to all council members and the mayor. We do not know of any yet who have e-mail, so, in case you want to phone instead, here are their numbers:

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Phone Numbers for Fairbanks Mayor and Council:

Billie Ray Allen 457-8793,
Jerry Cleworth
John Immel
Romar Swarner
Howard Thies Charlie Rex
Back to Home Page Mayor Hayes

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Candidate endorsements on this Web Site are not authorized, paid for, nor approved by any candidate. ITA, as a non-profit organization, does not give money to candidates. ITA is solely responsible for the content of everything appearing on these pages unless otherwise noted. We believe in the truth and are proud of our research. We stand ready to back up anything we say here, with the originating documents if necessary. However, we will not be responsible for inaccuracies found in other's documentation.

Paid for by The Interior Taxpayers' Association, Inc. PO Box 71892, Fairbanks AK 99707,
Donna Gilbert, President  ITA Phone (907) 456-8031.
Last updated
 Saturday, October 31, 2009 Web Site maintained by ITA volunteers. Please send E-mail to   for problems found or suggestions.