Anchorage Assembly will limit public attendance at Wednesday's meeting, first public hearing on budget - Must Read Alaska
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Anchorage Assembly will limit public attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, first public hearing on budget

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The Anchorage Assembly meeting on Wednesday is likely to be calmer than recent ones, if only because the public won’t be attending. The Assembly is enforcing a limit on public participation. No more than 125 will be allowed into the Assembly Chambers, due to the Assembly’s new rules, although there are many items of public interest, including the proposed 2022 budget.

See the agenda here.

Also, face masks must be worn by everyone during all meetings of the Assembly, whether it’s in the chambers, or the next-door Wilda Marston theater, which will be limited to 150 people.

The Assembly is taking up a resolution concerning the homelessness plan that has been under negotiation for months.

After Mayor Dave Bronson was elected, he proposed a plan for dealing with the drug- and alcohol-fueled homelessness situation in Anchorage. For over a year and a half, homeless people have been housed in the Sullivan Arena, where hockey games used to be played. The cost for operating the Sullivan as a homeless shelter is about $3 million a month; currently 420 people are sheltering at night in the facility, at a cost of more than $7,000 per person, per month.

The Assembly refused to entertain Bronson’s homelessness plan after his election, which the liberal majority opposed. The plan involved a navigation center to get the people the services they need — drug treatment, medical treatment, housing, and jobs. Instead, the Assembly dug in its heels, but finally accepted an offer from the mayor to negotiate.

Tonight’s plan to be considered by the Assembly is the result of over 22 meetings, each running several hours, mediated by retired Admiral Tom Barrett.

The Assembly sent three members to these meetings — Meg Zaletel, Chris Constant, and John Weddleton. From the Mayor’s Office, Craig Campbell, Larry Baker, and John Morris represented.

If the policy passes the Assembly tonight, there’s still a lot of work to be done to finalize a plan, and because of the Assembly delays, the Sullivan will remain the mass homeless shelter for the winter, as long as FEMA money keeps coming. That agenda item is explained more here.

Also on the agenda for the meeting is approving an item to create a improvement district for Midtown Anchorage. Improvement districts allow special taxes to be levied for the purpose of improving the area, much in the way downtown Anchorage has been improved by such a taxing device.

The Assembly intends to spend $100,000 of federal ARPA Covid relief money to set up the special taxing district.

The Assembly will also take public testimony on an ordinance that would require the mayor to bring his appointees forward for confirmation immediately, or as soon as the Assembly requests it. That ordinance is being offered because the liberal majority on the Assembly want to axe some of the mayor’s appointees, who serve in a temporary capacity until they are approved by the Assembly.

The specific language is: “An appointment for a principal executive or department head position subject to assembly confirmation may be scheduled for a confirmation hearing and set on a meeting agenda for a confirmation vote by the assembly chair at any time after such person is hired or receives compensation for the position, or is otherwise serving in the position in a provisional, temporary, or acting capacity. Submittal of a memorandum from the mayor or designee is not a prerequisite for this action by the chair, and lack of such memorandum does not preclude a confirmation vote.”

That ordinance is here.

Several appointees of the mayor are also up for confirmation during the meeting, including Dan Zipay for Solid Waste Services, Bradly Coy, Municipal Traffic Engineer, Joe Gerace, Health Department Director, and James Winegarner, Director of Real Estate

The Assembly will also open public testimony on the mayor’s proposed budget. The Assembly intends to get that portion of the meeting started by 8 pm. Those items include:

FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance No. AO 2021-97, an ordinance adopting the 2022 General Government Capital Improvement Budget, Office of Management and Budget.14.B.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 605-2021.
14.C.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Resolution No. AR 2021-323, a resolution adopting the 2022-2027 General Government Capital Improvement Program, Office of Management and Budget. 14.C.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 606-2021.
14.D.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Resolution No. AR 2021-324, a resolution adopting the 2022-2027 Six Year Fiscal Program, Office of Management and Budget.14.D.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 607-2021.
14.E.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance No. AO 2021-98, an ordinance adopting and appropriating funds for the 2022 Municipal Utilities/Enterprise Activities Operating Budgets and the 2022 Municipal Utilities/Enterprise Activities Capital Improvement Budgets, Office of Management and Budget. 14.E.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 608-2021.
14.F.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Resolution No. AR 2021-325, a resolution approving the 2022-2027 Municipal Utilities/Enterprise Activities Capital Improvement Programs, Office of Management and Budget. 14.F.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 609-2021.
14.G.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance No. AO 2021-99, an ordinance adopting and appropriating funds for the 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets of Anchorage Community Development Authority, Office of Management and Budget. 14.G.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 610-2021.
14.H.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance No. AO 2021-104, an ordinance amending Anchorage Municipal Code Sections 26.70.060, 26.70.070, 26.70.080, and 26.70.090 to increase rates for the Solid Waste Services Refuse Collection Utility14.H.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 637-2021.
14.I.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance No. AO 2021-105, an ordinance amending Anchorage Municipal Code Sections 26.80.050 and 26.80.070 to increase rates for the Solid Waste Services Disposal Utility.14.I.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 639-2021.
14.J.                            FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance No. AO 2021-108, an ordinanceapproving proposed rate increases by the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility for submission to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility. 14.J.1. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 677-2021.

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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.

Latest comments

  • Come out and testify. Let’s fill the chambers. Speak the truth in love to the tyrants.

  • VIOLATION of the tax cap.

  • The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  • The assemblies plan for continued destruction of Anchorage is again on full display.

  • Anchorage is dead. Get out if you can.

  • COVID is the gift that just keeps giving to the petty tyrants and tin pot dictators on the Assembly.
    .
    Is it any surprise that attendance is being limited? Anyone surprised at all? Me neither.
    .
    The only difference between the actions of the Assembly and a toddler is the toddler will physically cover their ears to block out what they do not want to hear. The Assembly is (barely) adult enough to pretend they are listening.

  • Anchorage Assembly, dysfunction is thy name.

    Rather, obstruct and gouge…

  • Maybe a bunker like The Wolf’s Lair can be constructed for the Assembly behind an electrified fence for them to concoct their edicts safely away from the rabble with lanterns and pitchforks?

  • The inherent problem with housing the homeless is that you become responsible for them. They essentially become a ward of the state. To avoid healthy lawsuits they must have food, clothing, bathing facilities, medical/emergency services at the ready 24/7, and security. Acquiring these homeless shelters is like buying a boat, once its yours the real expenses start.

  • If everyone praised and flattered the Assembly members, then there be no issues how many residents can testify to how many residents fit into the room. The more the merrier!

  • Communism has arrived in Alaska, and it ain’t going away soon

  • WHOA! The approximate amount of money based on the data above, per year is: $85,714. EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS per YEAR or $234/day or $1,643 per week. For less than HALF that amount ($84-$99 per day – 30 day blocks) @ Extended Stay America. Granted, some guests may not obey all the rules and trash the room like they have trashed the Sullivan Arena, but there are cheaper options out there.

    Of course that would mean the contractor 99+1, would be cut out of the process, for the most part if they rented rooms across the Anchorage bowl instead of the Sullivan Arena. Just a thought of the box.

  • Call me crazy, but I think this might end up being the WOKE-est budget ever. Eagle-exit cannot happen fast enough.

  • The word “law” is ping ponged around. THE uS Constitution is the the law. It identifies three branches of government (which has no “rights”). One branch is legislative, the second is executive, the third is judiciary. That’s it. If you are the judiciary you apply court rules of practice, if you are legislative you may write bylaws applying to only you, the executive executes the people’s will. The people instruct their representative servant of their will. The role is only improperly rogue leaders where representatives’ personal, twinkling or cresendoing unresponsive to the public viewpoints of representative Willie’s or representative Nellie’s. That is the laid down Constitutional law. Being a representative makes you an oath taking public servant. LOOK WHO YOU HAVE SHUT OUT AGAIN.

  • But of course they will; they hate you. Understand this fact on a fundamental level or lose your city for good.

  • Just declare they rule Anchorage and get it over with

  • Yes, Anchorage has indeed fallen. Eagle River can’t exit soon enough. If you live in Anchorage you might consider selling your home proto. Perhaps move to the Peninsula , (there are three of them, Seward, Alaska and Kenai or if you can find property the fourth might be the Mansfield). The S-Hole process of societal destruction is well underway in Anchorage, with each passing day the lunacy becomes more apparent. We need to Quarantine Anchorage, protective corridors should be established so that State Highways and Airports are accessible to the citizens of Alaska who by needs have to travel through.
    And to think that some actually wanted to move the Seat of State Government to Anchorage! Just think of the disaster that would be. Move the Capital to Napaskiak or Gulkana! Heck, I nominate Chicken!

  • It’s all about chilling the public’s desire to participate in their government: phony face burkas, “social distancing”, limiting people in the chambers, hiding from the public through Zoom and on and on.
    It is said ‘you get the government you deserve’. What does it say about the people who continue to elect these fools?

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