Anchorage budgeted government positions increased by over 100 under Mayor Berkowitz - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
HomePoliticsAnchorage budgeted government positions increased by over 100 under Mayor Berkowitz

Anchorage budgeted government positions increased by over 100 under Mayor Berkowitz

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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.

Read: Anchorage’s deep state: Equity officer cannot be fired

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.

Read: Anchorage Assembly wants to hire shadow mayor with vast powers

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.

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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

  • I guess this is what Democrats really mean when their leaders say, we will bring more jobs. They really mean they will add more government jobs alongside increased taxes to pay for the existing government jobs and the newly added.

    The common Democrat voter will make the common excuse for higher taxes, for it pays for our community basic and luxury services we desire for a healthy and happy community. In the meantime, we’re living in a very unaffordable community unless your monthly gross income is over $3,500.

    • The NINE that rule half of the State’s Population!
      The other half of the State is ruled by Democrats and RINOs backed by Alaska’s Judicial System!
      Anchorage’s Vote by Mail needs to go! Unsolicited Alaska’s Ballots need to stop!
      Conservatives, stand Up loud and often for fair and honest Elections! Email or call your Assembly and State Legislators, every day if necessary, and let them know your opinion of their Ruling by fear using COVID as a way to cut out Public participation in MUNI and Stare Politics.

  • Out of control govt growth in Anchorage? No. Can’t be.

  • The Municipality Charter has to allow the Mayor to not allow the position to be paid for. Mayor Bronson needs the Municipality Attorney to challenge this in court or at the very least deny any person access to anything. It is time for the citizens to confront this Assembly once and for all make them little crying babies.

    • Quite sure Axiom Strategies coulkd provide a stellar attorney to defend the Bronson Campaign, maybe Rudy G, or Sidney Powell are available?

      • What’s the matter, Frank, slow day over at the radical leftist authoritarian echo chamber that is the ADN online comments section?

  • Does that number take into account the ML &P employee loss?

  • Yes Steven. Where are the people? People have to pay attention, and that is not happening. The optics of the assembly and their actions are incomprehensible, yet they continue. Come on Alaska we can do better.

  • Funny how frank rast and widbey and harbor person always fall silent when liberal waste and excess is exposed….. but if a conservative does spend all the money where frank thinks should have been……ohhhh boy

    • I find it disturbing to criticize the Berkowitz Administration for adding 60 police officers, Mayor Sullivan left with a $69 Million SAP accounting system and a diminished police department. Perhaps you can identify the liberal waste in that?

      • The liberal waste is adding 60 cops. Anchorage doesn’t need more cops, it needs less criminals. Crime goes down in a healthy economy.

        You wouldn’t understand that.

      • The budget deficit left by Begich compelled us to get the job done with fewer employees and they did a great job. Crime was decreased through better policing strategies and our implementation of performance measures showed improved efficiency in virtually every department.(thanks Cheryl Frasca!) Once the city finances were again healthy (earning the first ever AAA bond rating for an Alaska city), we held multiple police academies over our last couple of years, adding nearly 100 officers to the ranks.

        SAP was costly for sure, but keep in mind that we saved the property tax payers several times that amount by putting the utility payments to the city back under the tax cap (Begich took them out of the tax cap). Once restored, these payments saved about $20 million a year in property taxes, or about $200 million over the decade since we restored those payments.

        Also, every year that we stayed under the tax cap means real saving going forward since the new cap is calculated based on what you actually collected. Berkowitz implemented a new tax cap formula that said the cap is calculated based on what you could have collected. Led by myself and Bob Griffin, we put forth a voter approved initiative that restored the traditional calculation. Many millions more in savings for property tax payers. You’re welcome.

      • Easy. Crime was much lower under Sullivan. City was cleaner and safer.

        Under Ethan the city went to the 9th level of hell, requiring more cops.

        Thanks for playing.

      • There is plenty to criticize the Berkowitz administration for……. That sap accounting system you hate so much was asked for by the muni….Sully didn’t just dream it up…..the lazies in the muni work force were complaining about overburdened overworked no good system yada yada, mayor Sullivan wrongly agreed to give the muni what they asked for, bad on him, also many police retired during that time he didnt cut their jobs they were replaced with new officer candidates once a group large enough to be a candidate class was formed…….that’s how police works. You don’t know much do you frank?

  • The equity officer is a joke. And now shadow mayor. We do not have California weather and we should not have California wasteful government.

  • Good cast R&M! Frank Rast went for it like a bottom dwelling Catfish pouncing on a gob of eggs.

  • When hiring employees we should be hiring more Indians & less Chiefs.

  • And… the City is enjoying a $37.7 Million shortfall in non-discretionary/mandatory spending to service the bond debt. Your taxes went up significantly under the acting Mayor because of it.
    .
    But, hire people, what could go wrong.
    .
    It is really easy to spend other people’s money. Just ask the Assembly.

  • Seems like more trolls than usual lately. I wonder who Suzanne pissed off enough to trigger the army of flying whining monkeys.

    • It’s probably the growing cognitive dissonance that they suffer, as their insane, unscientific and rigidly dogmatic narratives are increasingly challenged and destroyed by reality, that is causing them to lash out at everyone and everything that refutes and denies those divorced-from-reality mental narratives.

  • That is the most flattering, and unrealistic, caricature of Rivera that I can imagine.

  • Suzanne: please update us…what did the Assembly do regarding this in last night’s meeting?

  • The article mentions “The police department gained 66 budgets positions, Information Technology gained 23 and Parks and Recreation gained 23.”

    The Assembly approved the Central Payroll staff transition from HR and into the IT department. Those staff are not “newly” created positions, they simply moved from one department to another. How many staff are on the Central Payroll team? If the payroll team has 10 people what department are those newly created positions actually located? Are all the positions fulltime? I’m very curious, thanks.

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