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Wednesday, October 17, 2018
HomeAlaska Daily PlanetAnchorage is $6 million in the hole? What happened?

Anchorage is $6 million in the hole? What happened?

BY THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET

Here is something unsettling: The city does not know why it is as much as $6 million in the hole instead of posting a $2 million budget surplus for this fiscal year.

Some on the Assembly say they will not vote for the 2019 budget until the city’s annual budget audit is complete, even preparing a resolution to urge the financial report’s completion. The audit has been delayed while officials wrestle with seemingly endless glitches in the city’s $80 million-and-counting  business software system.

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Until the audit is complete nobody is sure what the budget numbers are, and the Assembly must approve a budget by Dec. 10 – or meet every day thereafter until one is approved.

The mistake is being blamed on a city worker who goofed while transferring data from the old software system to the new system.

City Budget Director Lance Wilber says he cannot immediately explain the deficit, the Anchorage Daily News reported, and the city may have to reduce services because of it.

“We’re trying to figure out what in the calculations or the system of fund balance is leading us to a negative situation,” the ADN reported Wilber saying. “Honestly, I do not know.”

Count us among those not comforted by all that.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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