Anchorage municipal government grew dramatically in actual numbers of employees budgeted during the six years of the Berkowitz-Quinn-Davidson administrations.
In 2015, the municipality had 2,266 budgeted employees, not counting the utility workers (solid waste, water, port, Merrill Field, MLP, etc.)
By 2021, that number had grown to 2,368 workers, an increase of 102 municipal budgeted employees. This doesn’t count the brand new equity officer hired in April to a new position created by the Assembly — a position that prohibits the mayor from firing the employee without the Assembly’s permission.
Most of the increase was within the police department, which gained 66 budgets positions. Information Technology gained 23 and Parks and Recreation gained 23.
Tonight, the Anchorage Assembly wants to add yet another employee, one that would be something akin to a shadow mayor for the Assembly, who would have vast access to all municipal property, all of the mayor’s staff and their plans, and be able to essentially spy on the executive branch with no limits. Under the ordinance being considered tonight, the new Assembly staff person would even be able to inspect the evidence lockers at the police department.
The Assembly has grown under the past six years. In 2015, there were 23 full-time, and 5 part-tie budgeted positions, and by 2021 that had grown to 30, an increase of 7 percent. The new addition to the payroll for the Assembly would raise that increase to 10 percent.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz was elected in 2015 and resigned in a scandal in the fall of 2020. Assemblywoman Austin Quinn-Davidson stepped into the role of acting mayor to complete his last eight months before Mayor Dave Bronson was elected by voters as Anchorage’s new mayor.
The Assembly meeting begins at 5 pm at the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Agenda and agenda packet are at this link.