Alex Gimarc: Anchorage Assembly morphs into local parliament, controlling executive branch of government



Public anger at the Anchorage Assembly metastasized this week with pubic testimony on Assemblyman Chris Constant and Assembly attorney Bill Falsey’s attempt to rewrite the Municipal Charter to allow them to remove an elected mayor on a whim. 

As with masking and Covid-19 foolishness the last couple years, testimony didn’t go all that well for the Assembly. Who knew their action would trigger a negative reaction from the general public?

Their problem is that the Municipal Charter already has a technique to remove mayors who are not up to snuff, a technique interestingly enough not considered by the current majority when our pants-less former mayor, Ethan Berkowitz, opted out of the political gene pool last year. That technique is called a recall. It is not often used. It works even less often, as two sitting Assembly members can attest to.

From here, AO 2022-60 is an attempt to rewrite the Muni Charter without the benefit of public participation or approval. Why the rewrite?  Apparently Constant, Falsey and the other members of their merry band found a problem not apparent to anyone else in the 102-year history of Anchorage or 47-year history since merging with the Anchorage Borough.  

Someone should be in awe of their legal knowledge and their proposed solution. I’m not.  It appears many of my neighbors aren’t either.  

If you take a look at AO 2022-60, it allows the Assembly to remove a duly elected mayor from office on any one of a list of 12 nebulous offenses.  They even throw in a get out of jail card that allows them to do their dirty deed on anything else they can come up with. 

Falsey and Constant crafted the language from an existing Anchorage ordinance language that allows the Assembly to do the same thing to any member or members of boards and commissions.  It’s never been done, by the way, but they want to break the separation of powers between the legislative and executive to put the Assembly in charge completely. It is good to be king.

There is a form of governance where the legislature, or more properly the majority party or coalition controls the executive. That would be a parliamentary system of government. Think Great Britain, Canada, Oz or New Zealand. There are others, but these are the most obvious. 

Transfer of power in a parliamentary system allows the party in power, whatever their majority comes up with, to select the executive, who serves until the party loses the next election or the majority no longer wants the executive to serve, a no confidence vote, at which point, elections are held for a new parliament, and a new (or the same) executive is chosen.  

But this is their very form of government, agreed to by the people, the provinces, the judiciary, and the nation as a whole.  

Here in Anchorage, the Assembly majority is attempting to install what amounts to a parliamentary form of government by a simple 8-3 majority vote, which they think will empower the current majority to remove an elected mayor, replacing that mayor with one of their own for just as long as they want that newly installed mayor to serve.  If you don’t believe me, look how long past the 6-month mandatory mayoral election their Berkowitz replacement, Austin Quinn-Davidson was allowed to serve.

Now, I am silly enough to believe that when you change your basic form of governance, you at least ought to make your case to the voters.  Same goes with charter amendments, which this most certainly is.  But the Assembly majority chooses to push it as a simple ordinance, gaming testimony and public outrage by moving the topic to the end of meetings and then gaveling out abruptly, which tells me more than I need to know about the courage of their convictions.  Hint:  None of either is observed. 

But if the current majority proposes to play this little game, I have a suggestion.  

Let them pass it. Let them remove Mayor Dave Bronson and the three minority Assembly members, replacing them with more compliant politicians. But one day, there will be a 6-5 majority in the other direction, at which time those of us on the other side of the political fence will be able to do a little housecleaning of our own.  As Kurt Schlichter so wisely noted:  You are really not going to like playing under your new rules.  

This Assembly majority has been remarkably tone deaf over the last few years.  Every single time they come up with something so awful that they trigger public outrage, they have reverted to the “sit down and shut up” mode they enjoy so much.  It is up to us to stop them.

Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He was a small business owner and Information Technology professional.


  1. The US Republic form of government is NOT governed by monarchical tools like parliaments and stare decises like Roe v Wade because we are under law that is COMMON to man i.e. not fictions like corporations which are recognized under the Queen’s ever advancing admiralty law which conflicts with our US Constitutional rights.

  2. So do you assemblymen think like agents of the Queen’s commonweath (do you think in error you can socially advance in the realm’s commonwealth and do double agency in the US Republic and the Queen’s royal realm? Fools errand. You will never have realm benefits. ALL benefits go to the monarch which you can never be.

  3. I would choose to term what they’re trying to create as a Politburo rather than a Parliament. With our mail fraud, excuse me mail ballot system, the majority of the Assembly will always be determined some “central commmittee” of the communist, excuse me, Democrat Party and the Assembly will function as the central policy body for the central committee. It’s a well-worn path that warms the cockles of lefties’ black hearts.

  4. Great writing as usual from Alex, and as always, it’s spot on! If this illegal power grab continues through to completion, I’d certainly hope aggrieved parties will challenge it in the courts. However, I have no confidence in the Alaska Court System’s ability to do the right things anymore when it comes to political decisions. This will add fuel to the wildfire that will become the Alaska Constitutional Convention, and one of the most important issues the convention must address is how judges are selected in this state and the future role of the Alaska Judicial Council.

  5. Mr. Gimarc believes the assembly will remove the mayor. I agree they would like to do that, but to actually close the deal would reignite the firestorm that led to Mayor Bronson’s election. Do they imagine they would get a mayor more to their liking on their second try? Maybe they really are that foolish or that confident? More likely they would try to intimidate the mayor by the threat of removal. Mayor Bronson does not intimidate that easily.
    So looking at the long game, maybe they are trying to rid the municipality of those meddling precincts where conservatives live? You know them as the neighborhoods that pay the taxes the Assembly loves to spend. Should Mayor Bronson be dumped by the Assembly, look for a quick exit by Eagle River/Chugiak. Then look for all other conservative majority communities to follow suit. That spells bad news for the remaining parts of the municipality, but it is exactly what they voted for in returning their leftists to the assembly.

    • Do they imagine they would get a mayor more to their liking on their second try?
      If you read the ordinance, and the Muni code, the replacement Mayor is the Assembly Chair. Suzanne LaFrance would very much be a Mayor to their liking. However, if there is sufficient time left in the Mayor’s term, a special election could happen. (It does not HAVE to happen, but it could.)

  6. I keep hearing this: “there will be a 6-5 majority in the other direction, at which time those of us on the other side of the political fence will be able to do a little housecleaning of our own”. No there won’t. Not when the universities are pumping out 4 million communists a year – some of whom are moving up to Anchorage for the cool hiking. 39% turnout in the last mayoral election after the most divisive year in its history. This means the people of Anchorage don’t even have a sense of self-preservation anymore. What they need are people to speak boldly and wake them up, even if it means offending them. Gay Pride Month is an abomination when you consider Veterans only get one day. Go ahead and say it. What else have you got to lose?

  7. Well! The old testament in kings king josiah repented and did
    a kingdom housekeeping too removing all gods, idols, who defiled the land. That generation of judah
    would not see judgement in their
    lifetime because of their repentance. That tells us not let anything unholy enter the land. God gave us the new testament too
    So by God’s son example we know how to behave judge accordingly to each person and situation by his truth and his grace.

  8. They will stop at nothing to get full control of the Municipality of Anchorage.
    Power Drunk and full of Crap!

  9. It is time for the power of love to overcome the love of power. The corrupt assembly members are drunk on their power and have violated their oath of office and MOA Code of Ethics.

  10. If more than 30% of Anchorage could get off their butts and vote we’d already have a 6-5 majority.

    • Respectfully disagree. A 30% turnout in a Muni election is actually pretty good over the last 20 years or so. It was running around 20% or so before mail-in started. Election data is on the Muni website.

      We’ve been running some awful candidates. We need to do better with candidate selection. We also need to stop wasting time with recalls and concentrate that effort on defeating the incumbent.

      While a lot of words have been said about the awfulness of mail-in elections here in ANC, moving Muni elections from Nov back to April did more damage, I think. Cheers –

  11. Return with me if you will to US Constitution Kindergarten 101 as we discuss the unlimited expansion of personal jurisdiction exuberantly expended by the assemblymen over their musically inclined neighbors attending the publicly noticed “Assembly Public Meeting”. Where does their personal jurisdiction over everything come from?

  12. Well said Alex.
    How do we actually stop this abomination?
    Will the City and the mayor have to sue for the seperation of power from these traitors?
    Is this even be legal to pass?
    Can we toss em in jail the moment they try to overthrow our elected official?

  13. Any limited personal jurisdiction comes from their bondage to defend the US Constitution as it is written, ordained and established as the law of the land to secure American COMMON law of the land not water law of monarchical admiralty law of naval monarchies’ realms and commonwealths advancing to docks to the continental land thus overtaking it
    tyrannically – law of common, not royal but law common to living man (not fictional persons/corporations). We, the people, who already have a perfect Union.

  14. Democrats will lie, cheat, and steal their way to absolute domination. Republicans need to follow their playbook or we will be permanently out of power

  15. Very bad advice. It completely ignores the fact that the coming climate migrants are BIG Bucks for the nasty nine $ as they provide legal assistance to them. This article is also blind to the fact that dozens of people have been to court and won against the fake trespassing orders, possible injuries and the abuse of the free conservatives of anchorage on public property as APD ( some of them ) DO Chris Constants bidding. I have seen older women handcuffed behind their backs out in the hallway, no one reports it and they carry on the meeting as if nothing is wrong. WAKE UP ANCHORAGE ! please call APD and ask WHY they are agreeing with the abuse ! anyone reading this remember the 3 things you have to have to trespass a person ?? i didnt think so.

  16. Minor detail: Assembly will be a 12 member body shortly. The 6-5 majority becomes a 7-5 majority.

  17. The 9 are showing many traits of the Beast. Daniel 7:25 – “shall think to change the times and the law;”
    The “mark of the beast” may not be an actual physical mark.
    “On the forehead” could be a Hebraic figure of speech meaning to be in agreement with the Anti-Christ.
    “On the right hand” could be a Hebraic figure of speech meaning to do whatever the Anti-Christ tells you to do.
    The ones looking for an actual mark are ready to resist anything resembling a physical mark or embedded chip, but they may be tricked into taking the “mark” of the Beast, without realizing that agreeing with the agenda, or doing the will of the Beast is the mark.

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