Anchorage Assembly waste of the day: Decorating the dump and pallet homes for druggies

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The Anchorage Assembly will tackle several “only-in-Anchorage” topics at its regular Tuesday meeting, including asking the public to tax themselves to build fancy outdoor potties around the city, and the Assembly will vote on spending $500,000 to decorate the Central Solid Waste Transfer Station with art installations.

The Assembly will consider “1% for the arts” grants. One is a $300,000 award to artist John Coyne to create sculptures depicting the “progression of chaos to order,” with a large bronze raven overseeing the process, to be installed at the Solid Waste Central Transfer Station in midtown.

Another $200,000 will be voted on to be awarded to Artist Rachel Juzeler for a mixed-media artistic installation, also at the Solid Waste Central Transfer Station. The art will be comprised of hanging mobiles and mosaics depicting a variety of things, using single-use plastic bags as part of the exhibit, along with flying herring made from glass, jellyfish made from plastic, and birds made from plastic and feathers.

The waste transfer station is where commercial haulers bring their large loads and where people with garbage-loaded pickup trucks back up to unload into containers, which haul the waste to the dump. Very few members of the public actually go inside the transfer station itself. The old transfer station has been converted to homeless housing.

Continued hearings will be held on spending taxpayer dollars on outdoor potties:

Ordinance No. AO 2023-114, an ordinance providing for the submission to the qualified voters of the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, the question of the issuance of Not To Exceed Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($12,500,000) of General Obligation Bonds of the Municipality of Anchorage to pay the costs of an Areawide Public Restroom Project at the election to be held in the Municipality on April 2, 2024 and approving and adding a project to the Areawide 2024 CIB to include the Public Restroom Project. Assembly Chair Constant, Assembly Vice-Chair Zaletel and Assembly Member Brawley. 

New hearings:

The Anchorage Assembly, under its current liberal leadership, is obsessed with not allowing the public to have transparency into the local elections, which they oversee, due to their role in supervising the Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s office. The ordinance will make it harder for citizens to monitor the mail-in elections and to lodge complaints.

Ordinance No. AO 2023-125, an ordinance of the Anchorage Assembly amending Anchorage Municipal Code Chapter 8.30, Offenses Against Public Order, to expand the scope of criminal activity punishable as an election violation and to insert a new section 8.30.190 codifying the offense of tampering with a public record in the third degree, Assembly Chair Constant and Assembly Vice-Chair Zaletel. 

The Assembly will also consider spending $1.5 million for more homeless services, and $500,000 for operating the “Pallet Shelter Pilot Program.” Pallet shelters are tiny homes made of pallets. The money would be appropriated to Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel’s nonprofit, Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. That item, added as an agenda addendum, is detailed at this link:

Resolution No. AR 2023-421, a resolution of the Anchorage Assembly appropriating One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000) from the Alcoholic Beverages Retail Sales Tax Fund (206000) Fund Balance to the Real Estate Department 2024 Operating Budget and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) from the Alcoholic Beverages Retail Sales Tax Fund (20600) to the Anchorage Health Department 2024 Operating Budget, all within the Alcoholic Beverages Retail Sales Tax Fund (206000), and authorizing Grant Agreements with the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness for the Anchored Home Next Step Pilot program ($1,500,000) and to restorative and reentry services for operations costs of its Pallet Shelter Pilot Program ($500,000),  Assembly Members Rivera, Volland and Bronga.  (Addendum)

The Assembly will consider an award to Agnew::Beck, the former employer of Assemblywoman Anna Brawley for professional services for the Alcoholic Beverages Retail Sales Tax Outreach Program. That company started with a $50,000 award for 2022 and another $50,000 for 2023, but has since been awarded additional monies, not to exceed $78,200, and now not to exceed $80,400 for work that is supposed to be done by the end of the year. Information at this link.

The agenda packet is at this link. The meeting starts at 5 pm with formalities.

57 COMMENTS

  1. Addled Acres is the place for me, drugs and stealing is the life for me, city’s arms are so open wide, just give me a tent or a place so I can go and hide. Go to work so you can pay for me, raise your taxes so I have a place to pee. Anchorage keep your arms so open wide, I can trash your parks and places that you reside.
    Thanks ASSembly.

  2. Why don’t we supply pedicures and spa services along with art. Friday night bingo and taco Tuesday, Friday night pizza, drag queens, etc

    • It will never be complete until the ASSembly hand picks some Hunter Biden paintings to really dolly up the shelter and give it that “RICH” feel.

  3. Graft and further waste of the hard earned money of wage earners in Anchorage. Blatant misappropriation of funds to enrich those in the racketeering operation which is the Anchorage Assembly.

  4. It just never ceases to boggle my mind that these people got elected, and the even re-elected! Either they have exceedingly dumb low info constituents, or their voter bases are overwhelmingly dependent upon government and cannot see nor comprehend the long term consequences of that to their community, or there is indeed some serious voting fraud occurring. Of course then add in the civic duty voter apathy. Likely all of the above. What a mess.

    • Anchorage has the government it wants and deserves.

      It pisses people off no end when I point this out. Mostly because it’s true z

      • The only reason it pisses me off is because i KNOW they cheat.
        Have you forgotten the phrase “its not how many votes were cast…Its how the casted votes were counted”.
        My friend still has all the dated documentation he was sent by the muni after they refused to count his vote even after providing back up signature verification simply because “It just didnt match” after years of voting.
        Could you please point out the election that designated the ASSembly be the only ones in charge of the election process?
        And I dont mean the elections run by dictators in other communist countries.

    • Not so mind-boggling when you consider that only about 12-18% of registered Anchorage voters VOTE. What do you expect when the majority refuse to put pen to ballot-ballot to ballot box!

      • You forgot the final step…Ballot Box to Barb Jones …(surrounded by bouquets of flowers from Chris Constant) for the all important job of counting only 12-18% of ballots with many of them tossed aside….signatures just didnt look right even after comparing to their drivers license signature.
        My friends ballot was tossed due to signature….mostly because He is a well known conservative thorn in the ASSemblies side. They waited until after the deadline to correct the ballot to notify him that even after sending a copy of his D.L. it didnt match what the state had on file after voting for years without a glitch. THEY DO CHEAT!

    • Bingo! Elizabeth. These are government people and a government crowd. They don’t know where their paychecks come from. They think government jobs make money when government don’t make money. It uses the money earned by private sector employments to pay their salaries, their non profit grants and appropriations, and city services. Bingo again exasperating the issue is low voter turn out because of citizen apathy.

      I wish I could tell Kenai, Matsu and Wasilla conservative leaders stop building government housing for increasing government services like towards its health care and low income elders. The first thing these bureaucrats put up in the community is government housing for low income elders and health care to treatment and wellness facilities. You know a little secret Elizabeth I look forward to a government collapse. Not just a little one. A big one. It’s the only thing that’ll wake Americans up nursed by a government paycheck. I just don’t want to be in the northeast or the northwest, or southwest when it happens

  5. Poor poor Anchorage.
    I got to the point I thrown the towel in regarding Alaskans changing. I think Alaskans will never change. They refuse taking responsibility for their own accountability waiting on others and expecting on others to bring their change to them. I know that my family and I been downsizing so to have less roots here cause Alaska is not never was a state one should had have anyone put roots down. Its leadership are too corrupt. Was then, and always was. Why should any one who does work stay somewhere only to see money they earned that reflects the time they spent away from family be pilfered and m laundered away by corrupt AK leaders who couldn’t do the jobs of the people they are taking money away from?

  6. Its just a excuse to tax more and hand out millions of dollars that will be unaccounted for
    You might as well hand out millions more to the public so we can afford groceries the need to send them all back where they came from and get them off the streets instead of supplying bull#@$% artwork that has nothing to do with the situation at hand just a complete waste of time money space out whole government is f@#$d up in the head

  7. I doubting it’s not going to stop. I hope and pray people here will change. However I’m a realist too and I know Anchorage will not get better. The voters can barely control the elections and after the assembly eliminates election observers and challengers. This little city will get worse while this government dependent crowd live off the residents still living here working employer’s small businesses paying the government help to live better than them. Just like Seattle. Facebook it has a page called Seattle looks like sh*t . Anchorage isn’t bad bad like what Seattle facing to keep all the anchorage optimistic residents thinking we can change. We won’t change. The only thing to do for hard workers is downsize and begin moving and discourage outsiders from spending money on Anchorage. Feed the businesses here and you feed this government crowd who are declining American cities and big towns.

  8. Don’t you think it is time to build some subsidized housing for people? Subsidizing failing hotels is creating homes for the homeless.

    • I agree, but, I think it should start by “giving me” a grant to replace my roof, maybe a new fence around the acres would be a nice touch. After all, it’s free money right Tim?

    • Feel free to donate your home (or whatever roof you are currently under).
      Then just maybe your actions will catch on and Woolah…no more homless
      Ever heard the old phrase “Put up or Shut up”?

    • If you would have donated everything you own in the first place to all the people who want everything for free these poor people wouldnt of had to suffer all these years….Shame on you.

  9. I can paint art for half the cost.
    But let’s raise property taxes say 50% and go broke just like the government.

  10. Wow! to all those negative comment’s what has happened to people? Those comments are seriously lacking in empathy. People used to look out for one another, they used to care for one another, and they used to treat the less fortunate with empathy and some respect as being a living breathing feeling human being! Stop judging people until you’ve walked in there shoes for a day. You have absolutely no idea why that person has fell upon hard times, not every single homeless person is a drug addict or a alcoholic! Better look at the real problem and wake up! Check out the market on these rentals its ridiculous what they are charging for rent. Practically nobody can afford the ridiculous amount of money that these landlords are asking for in regards to renting one of there properties, nothing special mind you just a simple 1 bedroom apt is going for more then $1,000 a month not to mention there unrealistic requirement’s (make 3 times the rent in income plus deposits) I’m sorry but most people don’t make that kind of money. Ending result’s its causing people to become homeless. To all those comments you should be careful what you say about others because you never know one of these day’s it could be you that ends up out there on the streets alone, cold & hungry.Would you want everyone else judging you? labeling you as being a drug addict or alcoholic when that’s not the case. You can’t even relate to those people unless you’ve ever experienced being homeless. Stop passing judgments on people you don’t even know! All you are doing is dragging there self esteem down even further by belittling & shaming them! I’m really starting to lose my faith in human kind when I read comments like this, its actually very sad that people feel that way.

    • Gosh Cathy could it be the messages they project on their signs while panhandling for free money absolutely never mention the words: “Will work for food” like the hobos did in the fifties and sixties when my father hired many of them as farmhands.
      They had to shoot all the black bears on the north end of Anchorage this summer because of all the excess free food they didnt want anymore was tossed out near the tent camping area and of course just like the homeless when you start feeding the bears it becomes very problematic when they start relying on it daily.
      They absolutely refused to police their own area and put their trash in dumpsters.
      Taxpayer funded city crews were out there daily picking up garbage (I took videos) as well as all the stolen bikes propane tanks and everything else they could possibly drag back from the surrounding neighborhood.
      Years ago I tried to hire some of the vagrants who were responsible for the majority of the litter to help clean up the mess and they just laughed at me and said they werent touching nothing on the ground. They said free food was waiting for them and they all headed for the free bus to the soup kitchen.

      Their actions alone sets the stage for the communities response to helping them or just ignoring them.
      You need to go hang with Meg Zaletel who is making bank on the homeless already. $120K/yr salary of our money already and all they do is criticize our Mayor and thwart his plan to get them the mental help they desperately need so the grifting by the ASSembly just keeps on growing as fast as the homeless population.
      Sorry Cathy…No soft shoulder here to cry on. Go ahead and knock yourself out helping them and see how far you get. Been there done that.

    • Cathy, respectfully I believe you are misinterpreting some of the comments. There is nothing against bringing people in from the cold and providing them with shelter and food. It is the first step to giving them some rest to improve their circumstances.
      What most of us here object to is the frivolous spending of taxpayer funds on things like a statue and art. In essence we as a city (via the assembly) are contemplating spending $500,000 on a “nice to have” for a place where people clearly have other priorities and urgent needs.
      How many social workers or police officers, could we hire for that “art money” to help homeless individuals to rejoin society or take the criminal element (which preys on them and all of us) off the street??
      We as a city have probably spent now close to $200 million dollars and have very little to show for it yet another $2 million is going to the coalition to end homelessness, according to the article, whose track record is questionable.
      Many taxpayers in this town scrape by to pay their property tax and seeing it wasted on sculptures, dance floors and art as well as $5000/mo in rent to store the navigation center instead of using it to give homeless individuals another venue for assistance, is infuriating to them.

      • I think you, and many on this forum, are not understanding that this new art commissioned by the Assembly is to be put in the NEW SWS building, not the old one currently housing homeless folks.

        As required by Muni Code, all new construction of city buildings has that “1% for Art” carveout.

        Even the new schools built in the MOA have this same carveout for art.

        1% of the construction budget must be put toward commissioned art. It is a law established in 1975 by the State and furthered by the MOA in 1978

        • Thanks for clarifying that Pablo.
          What art form will be in the $12.5 million dollar public crappers?
          Brown Trout swimming through the storm drains of Anchorage….?
          Or perhaps a painting of ASSembly night at Mad Myrna’s?

          • That is up to the assembly to figure out.

            The only thing in the law is that the art must be commissioned.

            Anyone can apply to put their art there, you just need to submit a bid/proposal and you too can get some of those dollars.

        • Thank you Pablo, you are correct that I mistook the old for the new station.
          The other issue your correction raises is the math doesn’t work out. The station cost $120 million according to waste360. $500,000 is not 1% of $120 million. So is the assembly ignoring the code? If they can do that, then why not apply the funds to more pressing needs the city has or return those funds to the rate payers, as it appears this project was funded through a raise in collection fees and disposal rates, as in user fees!

          • I agree, why is it only $500K and not the $1.2 Million that is 1% of $120 million?

            I am not sure if this is paid for using fees collected or from the construction budget, but the rates have not increased with the opening of the new dump.

            I paid the same amount for a pickup truck full of trash in 2021 and 2022 as I did last week. It is $20 per truck/car full or $2 bucks a bag if you have under 5 bags.

            Maybe SWS is charging more for trash pick up around town, but I do not know those rates as I take my own trash to the dump as needed.

          • It appears that the contract to build a new station was in the works for some time and construction started in 2020.
            Per waste360:
            The major project will be funded through increases in collection and disposal rates of 5% a year and 6.25% per year, respectively, over five years.
            So it appears that rates increased with or before the construction commenced.
            It is curious though that the assembly apparently spent $50 million to refurbish the old facility….then $500,000 for art would make sense, but it is NOT a new building, so should it not already have fulfilled the 1% art requirement??? That would bring it back to my original comment.

    • You also forget, people break the rules of apartment housing even though something may be legal in AK; in apartment housing also runs on federal rules, inwhich people disobey those rules and they get evicted. They need to understand to stay in housing, you must obey the rules.

    • Ms. M,
      When I was in my early 20s I worked three jobs to feed my little one. One full time and two part time. We scraped by with no help from ANYONE. Use to be, you learn a trade and get good at said trade and with time, blood, sweat and some tears you EARN a good living. Now??? “I deserve to start off earning a good living”. Nope, no empathy at all on this end. And were are all them Tax free churches? Why aren’t they housing and feeding them bums?

    • Your dissertation is all feely feelings & victimhood. The facts are: property owners pay taxes. The Assembly and Mayor are the stewards of those funds. Wasting money on decor for a garbage dump is not good stewardship of taxpayer funds. End of education. Reality.

  11. Firstly, Cathy, most of the negative comments are directed towards the local Governments response unto said individuals’ welfare, NOT the individuals themselves, but let us take an honest look at that, shall we?

    Empathy begins with the individual and the community of the individual. It does NOT begin with the ‘Government’ nor does it END there.

    Empathy is an individual perspective, which begets a family perspective, which begets a neighborhood perspective, which begets a community perspective, but NEVER begets a governmental perspective.

    Why? Because ‘government’ does not rely upon empathy, but rather of payment unto a ‘intended’ solution, even though said ‘solution’ is not a valid ‘solution’ at all. It is simply an end result of feeling good about the changing of nothing with a slick twist of profiting upon the misery of the supposed ‘represented’.

    As unto the ‘unattainable’ cost of housing, allow me to relate mine own journey as to mine own abode.

    I moved into my current location in June of 1999. A side of a duplex originally built in 1952 in beautiful ‘downtown’ Spenard as a ranch house during the time whence apparently train employees were the owners of said properties, or so I have been told.

    Regardless, the street I live upon is employed with many converted ranch houses unto duplexes built within the same time frame.

    So. When I moved into the half of the duplex I currently reside within, the rent was $350 per month and the property value was approximately $76,000, according to the Municipality at that time, and upon a large land lot to boot.

    Now. Before I continue, I have had three landlords since that time, and each one of them has only raised the rent based upon the increase of property taxes upon the property itself.

    Currently, and thankfully, I only pay the sum of $800 per month and the property value is over $276,000 with having NO improvements since such time as I have resided there, so the only increase of value has been given by the ‘Municipality’ so as to garner a greater share of value through taxes even though the property itself has not changed one bit.

    Therefore, through my landlord, I pay more in property taxes each year unto the Municipality for no more services rendered, as the property remains the same as it has since 1952.

    Lastly, but not least, Cathy, regarding those whom you are deserved of the ‘Empathy’ you speak of, I fully agree.

    Sadly, those who you think you speak of are a minority and must fight for their existence amongst the vast numbers of grifters at large that exist within the system that is fomented and allowed by governmental forces, rules, and regulations.

    It is not the truly needful that achieve gainful substance from the government, but the deceitful majority that gains the system unto its, and its governments behalf.

  12. So have they already spent or will spend $50,000,000 to renovate, repair, remodel the OLD Central Solid Waste Transfer station to justify giving away $500,000 (hypothetical 1%) of taxpayers’ money for pretty paintings or some other type of “art”? “…the Assembly will vote on spending $500,000 to decorate the Central Solid Waste Transfer Station with art installations.”

    50 million is a tough threshold to meet if you are really “building, remodeling or renovating” structures, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, heating (You & I could not justify it by buying blankets, first aid kits, smoke/CO detectors, cots, pillows, etc that aren’t related to structure. The assembly will do it anyway. No consequences for any of this.)

    Current regulations include 1 percent being subtracted from construction needs for arts during building, remodeling, or renovation of a municipal building, school, or other facility.

    Do as I say not as I do is the rule of the Assembly. No shame.

  13. Yup if they did it wouldn’t be worth much people are idiots when you create great wealth you create great poverty at the same time maybe she should just pay her taxes and be glad she wasn’t outside last night

  14. All I see are conflicts of interest. And NO real solutions. I am an art lover. But putting these installations at the waste station? What a waste! (no pun intended). Not many ppl would see them to appreciate them.

    I have said this before on this platform and I will say it again. If you REALLY want to help the homeless in today’s world, you get them into a 12 step program. If they refuse–that is on them. Tough love is how you deal with drug addiction and alcoholism. We need money spent on fixing the problem and helping. Not enabling.

  15. At least they have found an appropriate venue to display their friend’s b.s. art. What do you recon a person needs to do to get a commission? But using plastic bags is supposed to be banned.

  16. It’s shocking how much focus (and money) is placed on the homeless in Anchorage. Don’t you people have other issues to solve? As a Mat-su Valley outlier, it looks like Anchorage is celebrating their homeless situation. Art for the homeless! That’ll certainly help things. I think you people have gone mad.

    • The Assembly is creating an industrial homeless complex that will constantly need to be increased to keep the machine fed. They won’t solve homelessness, but perpetuate it.

  17. Could of had a new homeless transition center with beds for 250 operational right now and probably zero deaths from exposure, but yes, we really need this other stuff, it’s more important.

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