The Anchorage Assembly liberal majority doesn’t plan to let Mayor Dave Bronson cut the municipal budget as he has proposed. Bronson had to make $7.5 million in cuts in order to get the budget under the tax cap, after an Assembly and mayoral spending spree over the past six years created an unsustainable budget.
The Assembly is trying to claw back over $4 million of his cuts, with over half of its clawbacks showing no funding source at all, while other items raid the money that comes from utilities, which is obligated already.
That means busting through the tax cap, and paying for operations with bonds. The Assembly leadership, however, said in a press release that its add-backs won’t break the tax cap.
Some of the add-backs include:
$128,873 – Assembly members Forrest Dunbar, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Met Zaletel request to restore community grants
$125,000 – Assembly members Suzanne LaFrance and John Weddleton request to restore a partial budget cut to Girdwood EMS
$634,737 – Assembly members Chris Constant, Dunbar and Quinn-Davidson want to restore four positions set for elimination in Building Services
$20,000 – Assemblywoman LaFrance wants an audit increase for the Municipal Clerk.
$20,000 – LaFrance wants more for legal fees for interpreting cost increase.
$10,000 – LaFrance wants an increase for closed captioning services for the Assembly
$90,300 – LaFrance wants more adverting and printing/binding funds for the Elections division
$100,000 – LaFrance wants another administrative assistant for the Assembly. One was already added earlier this year.
$1.321 million – Dunbar and Quinn Davison want multiple positions in the health department to be paid for by alcohol taxes
$1 million – Perez-Verdia, Quinn-Davidson, and Zaletel want early education grants
The mayor has asked the Anchorage School District, which is awash in money, to pick up some of the cost of school resource officers. The Assembly liberal majority wants to put that back in the municipal budget.
The utility and enterprise funds that generate revenue are also compromised by the claw-backs. The Assembly majority proposes adding back spending to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, but uses utility spending for that. That would mean there would be less available to spend for the obligations in the operating budget, something evidently not understood by the Assembly.
The mayor, who cut $7.5 million just to reach the tax cap, has a budget that comes in $149,000 under that cap.
The budget is on the agenda at the Nov. 23 meeting of the Anchorage Assembly. The meeting starts at 5 pm. The agenda is at this link.
You can watch the Assembly meeting at this link.