Anchorage Assembly moves to replace Allard, Dunbar

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The Anchorage Assembly is setting up the framework to temporarily replace Assembly members Forrest Dunbar of East Anchorage and Jamie Allard of Eagle River, and will consider a resolution on Dec. 20 to get the ball rolling.

Allard was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives and will be sworn in on Jan. 17, 2023, when she heads to Juneau to begin her term in office. Dunbar was elected to the Senate.

Allard has announced she will continue to serve on the Assembly until sworn in as a legislator on Jan. 17, while Dunbar has announced that Jan. 4 will be his last day.

Because members of the Assembly may not also serve as legislators, the seats would be vacant from that day until the April 4, 2023 municipal election; the resolution allows the remaining members of the Assembly to appoint people to those seats.

The Municipal Clerk would advertise the Eagle River District C, Seat 2 position on Jan. 10, 2023, and accept applicants for the appointment to the position no later than 5 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The applications may be submitted by hand-delivery or e-mail, but not by U.S. Postal Service or fax, according to the resolution. The clerk would then determine the residency and other eligibility requirements for the applicants, and the Assembly would interview them during a special public meeting on Jan. 29 at 2-4 pm, and then vote by secret ballot on the applicants that day.

Dunbar’s replacement process happens sooner. The clerk would advertise the District 5, Seat H position on Dec. 28, and accept applications until 5 pm on Jan. 4. After the review process to determine eligibility, the Assembly would interview the applicants on Jan. 6 between 9-11 am, and vote for the person to be appointed directly following the interviews, starting around noon.

The chosen interim Assembly members would then fill out the remainder of Allard’s and Dunbar’s terms and would be the incumbents going into the April 4 election.

In the past, the left-leaning Assembly has chosen a Democrat to fill an empty seat in the conservative Eagle River area. When Assemblywoman Amy Demboski was appointed to a position in the Dunleavy administration in 2018, the Assembly appointed Gretchen Wehmhoff to replace her until the next election. During that replacement vote, former Assemblyman Bill Starr, a conservative, only received two votes from the Assembly, even though he had served on the Assembly for over nine years, while Wehmhoff received six votes. Wehmhoff had run as a Democrat in past partisan elections and was not aligned with the conservative community of Chugiak-Eagle River; she did not win in her attempt to hold onto the seat she to which she was appointed.

31 COMMENTS

  1. They need to immediate stop from further exaggerating and expanding these subscriptive authorities to themselves. They are servants, not leaders, rulers, nor dictators. We the people will have an election immediately.

  2. The assembly’s choice will ensure that the people of Chugiak have no representation until the next election. But it seems strange that they should not trust the USPS as a means to apply for the position. After all, it was good enough for voting.

    • Great point.
      .
      Best guess is “hand-delivery or e-mail, but not by U.S. Postal Service or fax”, “The Municipal Clerk would… accept applicants”, “Assembly would interview them” and “vote by secret ballot” are pre-approval filters designed to keep invasive Conservative species out of the Peoples Assembly.
      .
      Radical Left Assembly menbers “interviewing” non Radical Left applicants… what could possibly go wrong?
      .
      Remember the Clerk works for the Assembly and counts votes. Recalling this Clerk’s performance in past elections, one wonders just how the Clerk “accepts”, and presumably rejects, applicants, or how those secret votes are tallied.
      .
      Good news is who’ll have the last laugh when Eaglexit passes.

  3. No one in eagle river voted for any of the other members of the Assembly, so why do they get to pick who represents eagle river? Why not the mayor?

    • Dunbar’s replacement should NOT be far-left and totally inept, George Martinez. He has posted signs around northeast Anchorage showing he’s actively campaigning now; he really wants the appointment. We recall that he lost when he ran for mayor as a carpet-bagger against Ethan Berkowitz. Just as we knew he had no business running the municipality, he has no business on the Muni assembly.

      Recently I asked him to explain one of his factually inaccurate public statements. It came as no surprise that he blew me off. This guy is all about promoting himself and not the interests of anybody else when doing so detracts from his aggrandizement, personal agenda, and self-centered plans. He resembles Donald Trump for all the inappropriate reasons: he’s correct, you are stupid, get over it …

  4. Well, isnt this just like our commie Assembly, giving themselves more power? The majority 9 of 12 (8 of 11) commies will, of course, appoint according to the applicants LEFTY/COMMIE leaning philosophies. No conservative, no matter how qualified, will ever work out if theses lefties are voting. What total OATH BREAKING on their part, do what is in our best interest, not your very own personal self interest. Jaimes temporary replacement should represent the district, not the lefty nine commie philosophy of tear everything apart, destroy it, gice yourself more piwer. This ASSembly has sone nothing in years but destroy our city one Tuesday at a time, one ordinance at a time… i sure hope qualified conservatives will put their names in if you live in either of these districts. January through April, we need you.

    • These lefties as you say were voted in by majorities of their constituency. Why do you want to disregard that majority to insert someone of differing constituency?

      • Isn’t that exactly what the assembly did when Amy Demboski left? Gretchen Wehmhoff is a progressive and had very little in common with the majority of ER/Chugiak residents, yet she was THE one they found “qualified”. How would you feel if they replaced Forrest Dunbar with Mia Costello (not that there is remote chance of that)??
        If history tell us anything the assembly will look for a couple of “rubber-stamping” replacements, hoping that as incumbents they get elected and make their circle of power complete.

      • With respect, voters have no way of knowing exactly how their easily corruptible mail-in ballot system worked.
        .
        Not sure what inserting someone of differing constituency means.
        .
        Surely we’re not saying Radical Left Assembly members must be replaced only with Radical Left applicants, never with conservative populists?

      • As I said, the majority of south anchorage should not determine who represents eagle river. Everyone had a vote in the mayoral race. He should appoint interim replacements like this.

    • The Politburo is taking the power the citizens gave them.

      Are they exceeding their legal mandate? Almost certainly. But the bigger issue is they are doing so with the de facto permission of the voters of Anchorage.

      Anchorage has had many opportunities to change the make up of the Politburo and has repeatedly not done so. The message is clear: this IS the will of the people. Either by approval or rank laziness (both), but it IS the will of the people.

      Accept reality. That’s the only way you’ll ever be able to deal with it. Anchorage is a blue city and Alaska is a blue state.

  5. I’m sure that our illustrious and diligent ass-embly members are, even as we speak, busily and preferentially canvassing with the EagleRiver-Chugiak gay community for appropriate candidates to fill their empty seats (no pun intended).

  6. I would prefer a democrat than Bill Starr. How could anyone even call him a conservative? Nobody even likes him in District 2.

    • Bill Starr was great. He took phone calls respectfully. His phone rang. He would do this thing where he would pick up and say “hello” and talk. He actually thought it was his job so he did it. I liked that about him. He didn’t feel threatened by new or different concerns. He had empathy for the people. He was one.

    • “nobody even likes him” wow a sweeping pronouncement. While I did not always agree with Bill Starr, he showed up to community council meetings, was always approachable and could coherently explain, why he voted the way he voted. Given a choice, I would much rather see him in that seat, than have a reprisal of Gretchen. She could not be bothered to give you the time of day.

  7. The Assembly is voting on a resolution to give themselves the power to appoint members of their own body?

    Is there no process already in place for situations like this? If so, what is the Assembly afraid of that they need to change the rules?

  8. At no time were elected volunteer servants given authority to act as defacto HR specialists with trade around authority to underwrite the qualities of a possibly disagreeable peer from another geographic area of town. Not your job. We didn’t gift them this authority regardless of their individual group think willingness to reach out and politely expand this expansion into brain surgery. I’m a gigantic non-consenting observer of undue process. The due process is ONLY an election. The people get the say. We know as reasonably forseeing that unforseen accidents, deaths will interfere with anticipated schedules and it is unacceptable that parts of Anchorage should EVER be unrepresented. The reelections are immediate priority. We as a mercantile people absolutely can foresee this contingency and will occur. Elections with integrity cost money. Put it as contingency in every budget for
    a couple of these unexpected occurrences that befall the servants perhaps every year. The process due is called “election”. Can you comprehend? If you can’t understand democracy process you are a problem and get the hell out!

  9. There were establishments in Anchorage which were a bit dynamic back in the vibrant days of yesteryear. You would fight your way in and out. If you are privileged to receive a stipend from our public trust fund you have to be a bit vibrant yourself. It’s not a garden party you are attending. If you need garden party decorum please remember this is still Alaska. Life, typically, is not a ladies teaparty. If this is what you need to function go to garden party town. It is not Anchorage.

    • Got that right! It wasn’t a tea party back then until the pipeline boom that went bust. Now we old timers have to pick up the pieces as best we can. We all got along and respected one another much better back in the day. The camaraderie back then was so nice. Like your comment.

  10. I’m happy for allard moving up, her so called assembly collegues were so disrespectful toward
    her, they were the toxic
    employees that makes a work envionment feel like one is in hell. She’ll have at least 20 additional professional collegues who can respectfully work with her. She is an encouragement for any
    alaskan in a toxic situation with a person that’ll it’ll pass.

  11. Crystal Kennedy can submit an application. We can see if these democrats are 120% racist not to accept
    a safe and good
    little republican. She can be e.r and c’s placeholder.

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