The Council adopted or provided guidance on several Council process changes, including the Council AP/SSC nomination and B reports process, tradeoffs of meeting in remote communities, and consideration of harvest specifications timing and the Council’s annual meeting cycle. Staff had provided a discussion paper from February with reflections on the Council process and potential ideas for change, which the Council prioritized in April. At this meeting, staff provided a progress report on the April priorities.
Nomination process for AP and SSC members
The Council adopted a change to the nomination process for AP and SSC members to move the nomination period earlier in the year, to both provide an extended period to submit applications, and also to provide additional time for Council members to review applications, evaluate qualifications, and talk or meet with potential candidates. Allowing more time for these conversations should provide more opportunity for established shared expectations about realistic workload obligations as well as the role and responsibility of potential members. The Council also affirmed its intent that AP appointments would primarily be for 3-year terms, but that staff should clarify the call for nominations to note that the Council could appoint members for 1- or 2- year terms as necessary. The Council expressed its intent to include a Tribal representative seat on the AP, and will discuss specific language to that effect in October, in time to receive nominations for the 2023 appointments. The Council motion requested staff add language to the AP Handbook on AP member expectations, and provide additional support to new AP members through staff-led training opportunities. For the SSC, the Council will formalize dialogue between the SSC and Council about expertise needed and potential SSC member recruiting.
Agency B reports
The Council discussed its practice of receiving reports from agencies and partners, and determined for the future to ask for written reports from agencies, and allow oral briefings. Oral briefings are preferred when the Council or the agency identify an important issue for dialogue or engagement; written reports are sufficient when reporting on non-time sensitive or routine administration information.
Tradeoffs with remote access while in coastal communities
In April, the Council requested public input on how to assess tradeoffs with allowing the same level of remote accessibility, in terms of offering a meeting broadcast and opportunities for remote testimony, for the AP and SSC as well as the Council, when meeting in some of the coastal communities with limited internet bandwidth. At this meeting, the Council clarified its intent to provide an ongoing opportunity for remote public testimony to the extent possible during all regularly-scheduled meetings of the Council. The Council noted the importance and equity of providing an opportunity for persons to testify without having to incur the additional time and travel costs of attending in-person. At the current moment, the staff report notes that the communities of Sitka, Kodiak, and Juneau should be able to support Council meetings with this high level of remote participation. Staff recognizes that broadband initiatives underway may allow this list to expand in future. Additionally, the Council preserves the opportunity on a case-by-case basis to consider special circumstances and tradeoffs that may support meeting in a community where the same level of remote participation is not possible.
Harvest specifications and annual meeting cycle
Staff will report back to the Council in October with an exploration of the timing of the harvest specifications process and impacts of reducing the Council’s 5 meeting per year schedule down to 4. To facilitate Council discussion in October, the Council will convene a meeting of its Executive Committee and AP/SSC leadership prior to the October meeting to provide recommendations as appropriate.
Staff contact is Diana Evans.