Man faces deadline to put plastic bag ban before voters
The clock is ticking for an Anchorage man who wants to repeal Anchorage's ban on plastic bags and instead let residents vote on it. David Nees has until 5 p.m. Monday to collect the signatures he needs.
The muni's plastic bag ban, approved by the Anchorage Assembly, is currently set to start in September after Assembly members delayed its onset so business owners can use up existing bags. Member Christopher Constant called that decision an example of listening to the public.
Nees, however, says he isn't sure they were listening at all.
"I like democracy to work best when you have (laws) representative of what the people actually want," he said. "I didn't see a lot of people clamoring for this. It seemed like it was an idea that started in the Assembly and ran through the Assembly quickly."
Constant disagrees, saying the Assembly held workshops and multiple public hearings on the issue. As a result of the public testimony, he's confident the public supports the ban.
"It was at least nine to one in favor of the bag ban," he said.
Constant agrees that Nees has a right to collect signatures to try and get the issue on the ballot. He'll need to get 7,394 signatures from registered voters in order to do that.
Nees said he has about 5,000 signatures, but is shooting to gather 8,000 just to be on the safe side. He urged people who want to sign the petition to visit local stores that have a copy, including Silva Saddle in East Anchorage, Boot Country in South Anchorage and Polar Gifts downtown.
Nees said he'll know by Monday afternoon if he has the signatures he needs. If not, he said, he'll switch focus from voting on the bag ban to voting in Assembly members who share his views.
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