Anchorage homeowners are denied their petition to reverse 'homeless hotel' plan - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, November 28, 2020
HomePoliticsAnchorage homeowners are denied their petition to reverse ‘homeless hotel’ plan

Anchorage homeowners are denied their petition to reverse ‘homeless hotel’ plan

LAWSUIT TO BE FILED BY NEW HOMEOWNER GROUP CALLED ‘ARCH

The Anchorage Municipal Attorney and Clerk have denied a request for a petition to repeal AO66, the Anchorage ordinance that authorizes the city to purchase two hotels, an old Alaska Club building on Tudor Road, and Beans Cafe to create a network of services for Anchorage vagrants.

Much of the plan depends on the use of CARES Act funds from the federal government and proceeds from the sale of Municipal Light & Power to Chugach Electric.

Kate Vogel, the Berkowitz Administration’s municipal attorney, asserts that an appropriation cannot be repealed.

That is what the homeowners group expected. After all, the same municipal attorney has turned down the request for a petition to recall Assembly member Meg Zalatel.

Bruce Falconer, the attorney for a group of homeowner-taxpayers, will proceed immediately this week in filing a lawsuit against the Municipality to reverse the rejection of the petition application.

He will also ask the court for injunctive relief to stop the Berkowitz Administration from proceeding until the case can be resolved or until voters vote.

The homeowners group is now incorporated officially as ARCH, Alaskans for Real Cures for Homelessness. The effort grew out of the Geneva Woods Homeowners Association, but has now become a separate nonprofit, since other Anchorage neighborhoods — Spenard and Heather Meadows — are involved.

The group will assert that the purchase of the hotels and other buildings is an authorization, not an appropriation because it’s not a specific amount of money being appropriated. This item of minutia matters because voters cannot repeal an appropriation, but can repeal an authorization. The group has two main points on this argument:

  1. On the Assembly agenda, there is a category for appropriations. But AO66 was not placed under the Appropriation header.
  2. Assembly member Chris Constant, in one of the public hearings, said “this is an authorization, not an appropriation.”

The group will ask for injunctive relief. to stop the city form proceeding until the court decides the merit of the suit.

The clock is ticking on the Anchorage Assembly’s decision to roll out the plan, which is expected to cost in excess of $22 million. The Municipality must spend the CARES Act funds by Dec. 31 or return them to the federal government.

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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

  • Please give us the contact info on ARCH for donations. This is a citywide problem, as is our assembly, and we all should get involved..

    • Yes, please give us contact info for ARCH so those of us already involved with the issue can determine if they’re for real or not. This is important, considering we haven’t heard a peep from Intervention 2020 once the state announced it will soon be reopening Palmer Correctional Center. Clitheroe and its need was already discussed to death long before this summer. Those pushing it recently continue to play dumb about access restrictions to the site, which even affects those having legitimate business there. Organizations throughout Anchorage already engaged in rehabilitation are fighting a losing battle, as our elected officials and other political factions would rather control or demonize the disadvantaged instead of providing opportunities to show them a better way of living. Perhaps the person who wrote about Alinsky and Cloward and Piven below could elaborate on how that fits in with the plan.

  • This is exactly what is necessary to stop the criminal activities of the mayor and assembly. Both have engaged in unconstitutional imposition of “ordinance” and “mandates” that fly in the face of the rights guaranteed by the constitution under the Bill of Rights and run counter to the State of Alaska constitution as well. Additionally, the state Disaster declaration specifically states that private property, business income, cannot be taken by the government without reimbursement to the business by government.

    • Please elaborate on your first points – how are the actions of the assembly/mayor unconstitutional?
      Also, “private property, business income, cannot be taken by the government without reimbursement” – this article literally says purchase, which indicates an exchange of money aka reimbursement.

      • Hi Laura, are you still working with or for the mayor on “special projects” type or similar business? Phil

        • Lol what. Is this your go-to when you don’t have an argument?

      • The mayor is taking people’s business income when he shuts down their businesses because of a virus. This was just ruled unconstitutional by a judge in Pennsylvania.

  • So what are real cures for homelessness that this group, ARCH, proposes? Curious if they have any alternatives or just a lot of “not in my neighborhood”.

    • Technically, ARCH isn’t required to offer other proposes. It’s a lawsuit. That said, there have been several other proposals offered. I like the idea of expanding the Clitheroe Center. There’s several acres of land the assembly already owns, and some housing could be built there (meaning jobs for a lot people). And expanding Clitheroe Center would mean that ALL people that have drug/alcohol issues could be served, not just the homeless. If the assembly is using CARES Act, this would more fair because it provides jobs, housing, and expanded alcohol/drug issues all in one. And helping people is easier when they’re all in one area, not spread out throughout the whole city.

    • It blows my mind that it’s so hard to correct our employees who have gone wayward. The VAST majority of residents are against this, most of them adamantly against it, but it’s a fight to stop it. That’s amazing to me… Guess I’m really naive to think that the city works for us.

      • This is typical behavior of liberals once they get a little power. I’m pretty sure this election of the little dictator will be recognized as the mistake it was. One term wonder.

    • Does the group have to have an alternative to know this proposal is not going to work?
      The first step is to do no harm.

      This action, providing more shelters, has always resulted in more homeless and more problems associated with the homeless. There has not been a single instance throughout the entire course of recorded human history where providing more homeless services has resulted in less homelessness. Not one.

      ARCH is stopping a bad plan from being implemented. Leaving the status quo is an improvement over this proposal.

    • Gee, Real Cures, what about mental hospitals? How about actually caring for these ill people with constructive actions instead of enabling them to spiral down. Have you ever worked in a mission helping the so called “homeless”? I wonder. The vast majority of these folks have mental problems and self medicate with alcohol and drugs. But then actually helping people won’t help your political aspirations so why bother.

    • They are in a comfort zone created by the current system so they don’t want to do anything else. They need to get uncomfortable. Anchorage needs to quit coddling them. Enforce the laws for which they have contempt. Quit propping them up. When they get sick and tired of being sick and tired they’ll get serious about the rehab which is available instead of gaming the system like they’re doing now.

  • The goal of these leftist is not a compassionate solution for anyone especially the homeless. The goal is revolution by each concession from the folks that just want to live their lives in peace. So with each demand the outlandish is designed to provoke and with provocation the jackboot of fascism is waiting to crush any resistance… If you think the arson that has hit the west coast will not be used up here then you have not studied Agenda 21 and its methods that are used to centralize populations, These senseless purchases are straight out of Alinsky and the Cloward and Piven text… The mayor and the assembly are well versed and right on course. How long is it until they shove the pedophilia abuse of children as their counterparts in California have just done. Oh its written down and pegged for a time very soon… The perverse agenda is fully in combat mode while the sleepers sleep.It is time to act with the very survival of what is good is at stake… WAKE UP NOW!!

    • The latte liberals on the Assembly only care about getting money to there supporters in the homeless support industry. They will buy these hotels then the federal government will want its money back because it was not spent pursuant to the CARES act.

      This is what happens when latte liberals stuff the mail in ballot box with all the mail in ballots they collect.

    • John you are exactly right……

  • $22 million for homeless vagrants to remain in Anchorage contributing what? $6 million for businesses struggling to employ and contribute to the tax base for ALL citizens?
    Further, this relief money meant for economic recovery is to be predicated on race? One’s race and or color determines the dissemination of public funds??
    People of Anchorage, stand up, the ship is sinking rapidly!

  • That money should go to the businesses impacted by Berkowitz’s mandates!

  • Vote! In person! After the appropriation fails. And join the lawsuit.

  • I thought the CARES ACT funds could not be spent on homeless housing. What happened.

    • A shell game.

      The Muni is backing out the payroll and costs for first responders (police/fire) and replacing it with CARES funds. Then taking that backed out funds to purchase the buildings.

      So, technically, the CARES act funding is going toward payroll and emergency services costs, but in reality, it is really being used to buy the buildings.

    • Just like many state legislators, certain leaders in our state think they can get away with breaking laws.

      I tell ya’, I’m about ready to just start breaking some heads!

    • I was literally gonna ask that question. I thought it was deemed a no by the feds that any of this could happen?? Remember after the meeting no one could attend about the homeless hotels? Yeah what happened

    • $22,000,000.00. Are the buildings is useable condition, what will the maintenance costs be. Will there be staff to protect the buildings.

      Better yet who owns the buildings, do they have liens against them that need to be paid off?

      I think the Justice Department needs to look into these transactions!

      What has happened to the last frontier I moved to 50 years ago. Heads need to roll over this. I have a phone and a pen and I am going to use it!

  • I would rather see these funds returned to the Federal Government than spent on a homeless tactic that has done nothing but increase homeless problems in every city where it has been tried.

    And, why is it that Businesses have to get into a lottery to get reimbursed for costs imposed on them by this administration, but the homeless get everything they want without question?

    I encourage everyone who sees the purchase of these buildings as the boondoggle it is to get out and vote. If any of the Assembly members who voted for this are running for State offices, do everything you can to stop them from moving up. Next Muni election, let them know they have lost your vote.

  • I wish ARCH sucess in their efforts against keeping vagrants in Alaska with inappropriate enabling ( govt handouts. ) These assaultive assembly efforts won’t end until the trifecta of loonies is voted out.

  • People should just band together and raze the damned buildings by force. Riot = peaceful protest No buildings = no sh*t hotels.

  • I like the idea of the little guy looking into the vacant prisons, schools and other ‘publicly’ owned properties to fill the ‘homeless’ needs. Those properties are already designed to be semi-private or even a little remote, to fit the locale and use. Not in the center of the largest city in Alaska. I’m sure the governmental agencies that built the unused sites would welcome someone to assume responsibility. Cheap (like, free). If that ‘correctional’ complex that never opened were available, perfect. Just don’t lock the doors and call it a luxury hotel. Or lock them at night and call it what it is. Doesn’t make any difference. It would give the terribly needy, homeless, ‘three hots and a cot’, for as long as other peoples’ money doesn’t run out. A hard choice needs to be made by those ‘homeless’. It must be either work your way out and up or accept what is available at other peoples’ expense. Nothing at all wrong with helping those truly in need, especially if a family unit is involved. The rest? Where were they before ethan and his minions came along? Working maybe? Paying the rent? They survived somehow, to become what they are. If a person, any person, needs to do something bad enough, like survive, talent and ambition previously hidden miraculously appears. Work becomes something to look forward to as a way to better yourself. Jobs available may not be what you want but that’s the breaks. Work hard at what you do. Do it well. Be dependable. You will succeed.

    • Correction Ben, ” Largest city CLOSE to Alaska” Anchorage was lost some time ago!

  • What’s the chances that those ordained to count (in private behind closed doors) the crammed down our throats mail in voting. Are cut from the same cloth as the municipal attorney and clerk?
    Take back our city.

  • Hey what do you know. The muni is doing everything possible to harm the people who actually pay taxes. What other states have allowed the homeless issue to run wild? Are they all run by democrats? I bet they are. Our midget tyrant berkowitz is following his marching order and is playing whatever cards he has to deliver as much destruction as possible before he leaves office. This entire debacle has nothing to do with the welfare for the bums. This has to do with enabling/supporting the lifestyle even more, making money off the entire process, spreading fear, spreading feces and lowering the quality for life in Anchorage.. Contracts for these hellholes will be worth a fortune. If only assembly member Chris Constant knew someone who worked for Akeela house(who provides drug and homeless treatment services). Maybe they could strike a deal and save us.

  • Kathryn Vogel lies too much for Berkowitz. She should have her license to practice law removed.

  • What about all the abandoned facilities on Adak?

  • Why aren’t the Native Corporations doing more to help create a solution for this problem….were they not created in part to improve the life of their shareholders and constituents?

    Are not the vast majority of the folks who are homeless Alaska Native? Shouldn’t the Native Corporations do way more than they currently are doing?

    Any discussion?

    • During the testimony on AO 2020-66, one person made specific reference to a rehab program offered by “the Native corporation out of Fairbanks”. The problem is, this program is actually operated by Tanana Chiefs Conference, which is not a Native corporation. Do those of you who hammer this talking point actually know what a Native corporation is?

      • ancsaregional.com/about-ancsa/

        Of course, since the 12 regional corporations dominate the economic landscape for the 200 plus village corporations it can get confusing.

        But if 16 out of the top 20 Alaskan businesses are Native corporations, and generate billions of dollars in revenues….why are they not stepping up and offering a solution? They were created to not only foster economic development, but to create a better life for their “shareholders”

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