Bethel Voters Could Again Go To The Polls On Local Option

Jul 25, 2019

Credit City of Bethel

Bethel City Council introduced a measure on Tuesday, July 23 to put a local option question on the ballot to restrict alcohol sales to restaurants only. 

During the meeting, council member Leif Albertson wanted to address some community  rumblings that he had heard.

"A lot of people have been, 'Why do we have to vote on this again?’ Well, first I would say I think it’s reasonable to reevaluate our position on alcohol regularly. But also I’d say we haven’t voted on this option in at least a long time," Albertson explained.

Bethel voted against banning alcohol sales completely last year, including in restaurants.

Council also introduced a local option measure for marijuana. Voters would decide whether to prohibit any marijuana establishment in Bethel. Acting City Manager Bill Howell recommended that the council protest at least one marijuana establishment. Alaska Grown Cannabis wants to move into a building on Tundra Way, but Howell says that building is unsafe. This is the second marijuana store that has applied for a license with the state’s Marijuana Control Board, but the city knows of at least three more that are in the process of applying.  

In more council news, walks at night on the boardwalk could get brighter. Council introduced a project to install lights on the boardwalk near Pinky’s Park. This is a partnership with ONC, which would pitch in Tribal Transportation funds for the lighting project.

And to wrap up Tuesday's council meeting, City Clerk Lori Strickler announced that election season has arrived. Bethel City Council candidacy packets will be available July 31, and filing will open on August 5. Vice-Mayor Raymond "Thor" Williams said that those with complaints about council members should, “Put your money where your mouth is.”