City of Sitka seeks legal counsel in wake of landslides

A new home under construction on Sitka’s Kramer Avenue was obliterated in the slide. A neighboring home is unscathed. (Photo by Joel Curtis/National Weather Service)
A new home under construction on Sitka’s Kramer Avenue was obliterated in the slide. A neighboring home is unscathed. (Photo by Joel Curtis/National Weather Service)

The Sitka Assembly convened in executive session Wednesday night to discuss legal matters affecting the municipality, as a result of the August 18th landslide.

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That included the city’s ongoing communication with legal counsel David Bruce and geotechnical expert Bill Laprade.

The Assembly would not comment on the nature of the legal matters. According to City Attorney Robin Koutchak, a suit has not been filed although the city has received several requests for public records.

At the end of the meeting, the Assembly issued a statement saying it had “received legal advice from David Bruce, Attorney, on possible legal claims for damages, and on possible claims about permitting and land use issues, relating to the Kramer Ave. landslide. No action was taken.”

Also in attendance were Public Works Director Michael Harmon and Chief Finance Officer Jay Sweeney. Planning and Community Development Director Maegan Bosak listened over the phone.