PUBLISHED: 11:33 AM on Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Mayor Botelho appoints independent panel to review avalanche response
Mayor Bruce Botelho has enlisted three Juneau residents to serve on an independent panel to review the response to the April avalanches that destroyed sections of the Snettisham transmission lines.

The panel-chaired by Sally Smith and including Robert Martin, Jr., and Rick Edwards- will begin its work immediately and expects to produce a report by the beginning of September.

Mayor Botelho said that "the purpose of the Commission is not merely passing judgment and making the easy calls in hindsight. I want the Commission to look at how the City and Borough, AEL&P, and the community at large responded to this energy crisis and what everyone could do differently - better - if faced with a similar catastrophe in the future."

Michael A. Conway of MAC Services, LLC and David Eley of Cape International, Inc. have been hired to provide services to assist the Commission evaluate the community's preparedness and response. Both companies are Juneau businesses with extensive experience in disaster emergency training, preparedness, and response.

The Commission intends to gather information that will help the community and key infrastructure entities prepare and respond more effectively in the event of a disaster emergency in the future. Sally Smith said she was "looking forward to hearing from the community about ways we can be better prepared for future emergencies."

Though AEL&P contributed funds to pay for the services of Mr. Conway and Mr. Eley and the mayor made the appointments, the Commission will operate independently of both the City and Borough of Juneau and AEL&P. The City will host a website to assist the Commission in its work.

The first two meetings of the Commission are set for June 25 and July 2. Both will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will be held in Room 224 of City Hall.

Residents wishing to learn more about the process or provide input to the Commission should visit the City's website or email the commission at