Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

02/19/2015 12:00 PM House ECON. DEV., TOURISM, & ARCTIC POLICY

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Audio Topic
12:01:15 PM Start
12:01:36 PM Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development, Commissioner
12:30:26 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Time Change from 11:30 am --
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Chris Hladick, Commissioner, Dept. of Commerce,
Community & Economic Development
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
 HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, AND                                                                
                         ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                        
                       February 19, 2015                                                                                        
                           12:01 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Bob Herron, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
     DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE~ COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT~                                                                
     Chris Hladick - Unalaska                                                                                                   
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CHRIS HLADICK, Commissioner Designee                                                                                            
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Unalaska, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Speaking as the commissioner designee to                                                                 
the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development,                                                                   
provided his qualifications.                                                                                                    
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
12:01:15 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR BOB HERRON  called the House Special  Committee on Economic                                                             
Development,  Tourism,  and Arctic  Policy  meeting  to order  at                                                               
12:01 p.m.  Representatives Ortiz,  Wool, Stutes, and Herron were                                                               
present at the  call to order.  Representative  Tilton arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
^Department  of  Commerce,   Community  &  Economic  Development,                                                             
   Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development,                                                                
12:01:36 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a confirmation  hearing for Commissioner Designee  Chris Hladick,                                                               
Department of Commerce, Community  & Economic Development.  Chair                                                               
Herron  informed  the  committee  Commissioner  Designee  Hladick                                                               
served as a  commissioner on the Alaska  Arctic Policy Commission                                                               
(AAPC)  representing maritime  interests and  the Bering  Sea and                                                               
the  Aleutian  Islands region.    At  this meeting,  Commissioner                                                               
Designee Hladick  would be introduced to  the committee; however,                                                               
his confirmation will be advanced at a later date.                                                                              
12:03:43 PM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS  HLADICK, Commissioner  Designee,  Department of  Commerce,                                                               
Community & Economic Development  (DCCED), informed the committee                                                               
he has been  a city manager in  Alaska for 25 years  and was born                                                               
and  raised in  Illinois.   He provided  a brief  history of  his                                                               
early work  experience and  said he holds  a Bachelor  of Science                                                               
degree  in   Environmental  Biology,  and  studied   geology  and                                                               
engineering.   His first job  in Alaska  was as the  public works                                                               
director in Galena.  Commissioner  Designee Hladick described his                                                               
responsibilities as the public works  director, city manager, and                                                               
electric  utilities supervisor  for  Galena from  1990-1994.   He                                                               
said  his  experience  in  Galena   was  difficult  but  a  great                                                               
opportunity.   He said his  responsibilities as the  city manager                                                               
of Dillingham  from 1994-2001, were at  a time when the  city was                                                               
near bankruptcy, and  thus he is experienced  in trimming budgets                                                               
and  reorganizations.    A description  of  his  experience  with                                                               
various  projects was  included  in his  resume  provided in  the                                                               
committee packet.   In 2001, he became city  manager in Unalaska.                                                               
Commissioner  Designee   Hladick  said   he  has   knowledge  and                                                               
experience in  fisheries, project management, and  union contract                                                               
12:07:48 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  asked  for  clarification  regarding  the                                                               
aforementioned Galena contract.                                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  HLADICK said  the  contract  had a  99.99                                                               
percent reliability factor, which resulted in expensive fines.                                                                  
CHAIR HERRON  asked why Commissioner  Designee Hladick  agreed to                                                               
serve as commissioner.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  HLADICK said, "I  just decided that  I was                                                               
going  to give  this  a whirl."   In  further  response to  Chair                                                               
Herron, he  anticipated that the  biggest challenges will  be the                                                               
budget and the  completion of an assessment of  the department in                                                               
order to prepare for next year.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON  asked for Commissioner  Designee Hladick's                                                               
goals for DCCED.                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  HLADICK answered  he must chart  a course,                                                               
for example, 25  percent cuts over the next  four years, followed                                                               
by an  evaluation of  existing services.   He  said he  could not                                                               
provide an idea  yet, but he was familiar with  the services that                                                               
are currently provided due to  his 25 years of experience working                                                               
with divisions within DCCED.                                                                                                    
CHAIR HERRON  asked Commissioner  Designee Hladick to  provide an                                                               
example of how the delivery of  DCCED services to small and large                                                               
communities can be improved.                                                                                                    
12:12:34 PM                                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  HLADICK  suggested  a  centralization  of                                                               
services such as financing should  be reviewed, in particular the                                                               
requirements   for  grants.     Also,   he  has   heard  comments                                                               
questioning licensing practices.                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON  observed the House  Community and  Regional Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee,  the  House Special  Committee  on  Economic                                                               
Development, Tourism,  and Arctic  Policy, and the  House Special                                                               
Committee  on   Fisheries  work   with  DCCED.     He  questioned                                                               
Commissioner  Designee  Hladick's   recommendations,  during  his                                                               
service  as an  AAPC  commissioner, that  were  related to  DCCED                                                               
agencies that are critical to Arctic policy.                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER    DESIGNEE    HLADICK   acknowledged    the    AAPC                                                               
Implementation  Plan for  Alaska's Arctic  Policy recommendations                                                               
refer  to  regional  planning  and  coordinating  information  to                                                               
prepare  communities   for  activities,  such  as   oil  and  gas                                                               
development.   He was unsure  of the amount of  regional planning                                                               
in place  "up north"  and restated  his intent  to start  with an                                                               
assessment very specific to the needs of each community.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asked for Commissioner  Designee Hladick's                                                               
opinion on  the coastal management  plan, which  affected coastal                                                               
communities and provided rights.                                                                                                
12:16:07 PM                                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER   DESIGNEE   HLADICK   replied  that   the   coastal                                                               
management program was in effect in Unalaska.  He remarked:                                                                     
     I  think it  can be  a  great tool  for getting  input.                                                                    
     There's also,  I think it  depends on the  community as                                                                    
     well.  [A] community can  put together a public process                                                                    
     that makes sure all the  stakeholders are at the table.                                                                    
     The  [Coastal Resource  Service  Area] was  a way  that                                                                    
     kind of forced that to happen.  ... I would like to, if                                                                    
     it does come back, to  see what they're trying to build                                                                    
     and what they're  trying to accomplish, but  we had one                                                                    
     in Unalaska  and many  of the  plans that  they started                                                                    
     are still being used.                                                                                                      
CHAIR HERRON referred  again to the AAPC  Implementation Plan and                                                               
noted  one  of the  recommendations  directed  to DCCED  and  the                                                               
Department of Environmental Conservation is as follows:                                                                         
     Anticipate, evaluate and respond  to risks from climate                                                                    
     change  related to  land erosion  and deterioration  of                                                                    
     community  infrastructure  and   services  and  support                                                                    
     community   efforts   to   adapt  and   relocate   when                                                                    
CHAIR   HERRON   asked   whether   DCCED  can   "take   on   that                                                               
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE Hladick  assured  the  committee that  the                                                               
department  can work  with a  community  to develop  a plan  that                                                               
would  appeal to  federal and  state  agencies for  funding.   In                                                               
further  response  to Chair  Herron,  he  said  he has  a  strong                                                               
management  background that  will  allow him  to transition  from                                                               
managing 160 employees in Unalaska to 575 employees at DCCED.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ asked  whether Commissioner Designee Hladick                                                               
was  prepared  to  elaborate  on which  functions  of  DCCED  are                                                               
working well and which are not.                                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  HLADICK said  he reserved comment  at this                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  for  Commissioner Designee  Hladick's                                                               
thoughts on economic development.                                                                                               
12:20:59 PM                                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  HLADICK responded  that while he  was city                                                               
manager  he  was  connecting  a  Norwegian  shipping  company  to                                                               
seafood  companies in  Unalaska in  order to  provide a  shipping                                                               
route over the  North Pole to markets in Europe.   He pointed out                                                               
that to  promote business, ordinances  must not  inhibit economic                                                               
development.   Although he has  not had  a job title  of economic                                                               
developer, he  gained experience in  this field while  working in                                                               
city management.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES observed opening  the Arctic will require a                                                               
lot of  infrastructure.  She  asked what  region of the  state is                                                               
best located for new infrastructure.                                                                                            
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE HLADICK recalled  a presentation before the                                                               
legislature  many years  ago in  this  regard, which  led to  the                                                               
creation  of the  Alaska Northern  Waters Task  Force.   The U.S.                                                               
Army Corps  of Engineers  study on a  northern port  estimated it                                                               
would  be a  $250  million project  which  raises many  financial                                                               
barriers.  However, he said, "A  lot of those things are going to                                                               
need to get done."                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked, "A lot of what things?"                                                                            
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  HLADICK responded the immediate  goals are                                                               
to develop ports and put emergency response plans in place.                                                                     
CHAIR HERRON advised Commissioner  Designee Hladick the committee                                                               
will pose further questions at his confirmation hearing.                                                                        
12:25:28 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON asked  how  Commissioner Designee  Hladick                                                               
would balance the diverse needs  of all of the communities across                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  HLADICK replied  he has thought  about and                                                               
talked  about statewide  issues  for what  "seems like  forever."                                                               
His lobbying experience in Juneau  and in Washington, D.C., often                                                               
involved  statewide   issues  such  as   outer-continental  shelf                                                               
revenue  sharing to  ensure that  other communities  benefit from                                                               
royalties  that are  paid  by business  activities  on the  North                                                               
CHAIR   HERRON  noted   the   commissioner  designee's   previous                                                               
experience with  the Alaska  Municipal League  and asked  for his                                                               
opinion on revenue sharing.                                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE HLADICK  acknowledged revenue  sharing has                                                               
been   a  long-standing   issue   for  municipalities;   however,                                                               
municipal  governments must  understand fiscal  limitations.   He                                                               
acknowledged  that a  loss of  revenue sharing  is a  problem for                                                               
smaller  communities and  if community  governments "close  their                                                               
doors" it  will be  an issue  for the  Division of  Community and                                                               
Regional Affairs  (DCRA) to address,  if it has not  already done                                                               
12:28:46 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON  noted he represents  32 communities, some  of which                                                               
are  very  small,  and  asked  whether there  should  be  a  hold                                                               
harmless  provision  for  those  tiny  communities  that  receive                                                               
minimum revenue sharing.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE HLADICK agreed this should be discussed.                                                                  
CHAIR HERRON stated  Commissioner Designee Hladick's confirmation                                                               
hearing will be continued at a date uncertain.                                                                                  
12:30:26 PM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Economic  Development, Tourism,  and Arctic                                                               
Policy meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Chris Hladick Resume.pdf HEDA 2/19/2015 12:00:00 PM