Assembly builds up more power for itself, takes from the mayor of Anchorage with two power-grabbing ordinances

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During another meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, the nine-member liberal majority has continued to take more power away from the Mayor’s Office and establish itself as a secondary executive branch.

On a vote of 8-2, with John Weddleton absent, the Assembly changed municipal code that gives it complete authority over whatever meeting spaces it uses, whether it’s the Assembly Chambers in the Loussac Library, the Wilda Marston Theater next door, or a meeting room in City Hall.

The matter is a separation of powers issue for both the mayor and the Assembly. The municipal charter gives the mayor power over all facilities in the city, ostensibly to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Such Assembly measures in the past are the reason that the Anchorage voters went with a conservative mayor, Dave Bronson, during the last election, rather than liberal Forrest Dunbar.

A primary issue is whether the Assembly can keep the public from attending its meetings, as the liberal majority has done by limiting capacity in the Assembly Chambers.

Municipal Manager Amy Demboski argued that she had made multiple efforts to accommodate the Assembly, to no avail.

“The Chair mentioned in her opening remarks that this issue has been ratcheting up, which is simply false and a misrepresentation of the facts,” Demboski said on Wednesday night.

“First, as mayor indicated yesterday, offer to cross train multiple times Assembly/clerk staff on technology to assist in the recording and broadcasting equipment, which, to my knowledge has not been responded to by Assembly leadership,” she said.

“Second, I personally spoke to the Chair prior to an Assembly meeting a while back and agreed to modify capacity limits to ensure the Assembly members were more comfortable; yet on the record 15 minutes later the chair expressed that the Administration was unwilling to work with the Assembly,” Demboski continued. She went on to say that through the city’s Department of Law, she had offered a compromise on Wednesday, but her effort to work with the Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance was rebuffed.

“Yet, that offer was not entertained, and tonight we heard the perspective that the issue was ratcheting up – clearly the opposite of the reality,” she said.

Demboski, who once served on the Assembly on behalf of Eagle River, said, “State law is clear, the executive has control over real and personal property of the municipality. Whether you like it or not, buildings, facilities, are real or personal property. Furthermore, this ordinance attempts to exercise control over executive branch personnel which is clearly a power articulated to the Executive branch in Charter and in State Law.”

Demboski said the ordinance is a violation of the separation of powers, “and is an attempt by the legislative branch to take power from the executive branch.”

The other ordinance that passed on Wednesday requires the mayor to bring forward his appointees to the Assembly for confirmation more within 60 days. Although it was watered down from the original draft, the ordinance notes in the “whereas” clauses that Mayor Dave Bronson’s choices for directors have been at times controversial.

The Assembly was particularly displeased with the mayor over his appointment of Sami Graham as library director, and subsequent appointment of Judy Eledge to that role after Graham was not confirmed. The two women have advanced degrees but the Assembly wants a person in that position that has a masters of library science.

Eledge has since stepped down as library director to take a non-confirmable position of deputy director, thus robbing the Assembly of its ability to get rid of her.

The Assembly majority of nine want to prevent him from allowing people to serve in key positions for several weeks or months before the Assembly has a chance to dismiss them by refusing to confirm.

Since the conservative mayor was elected in May, the liberal Assembly has increased its assertion of power, including passing an “emergency ordinance” that put masks on Anchorage residents to reduce the spread of Covid.

The Wednesday meeting was sparsely attended by the public. The Assembly will meet again on Friday in executive session to discuss its interest in not confirming the current Department of Health director.

19 COMMENTS

  1. At a Sand Lake CC meeting, Perez Verdia was chided for the juvenile behavior of the assembly with regard to the continual obstruction of the administration. There is no work being done on behalf of the taxpayers in this town right now. It is criminal that this assembly finds it more important to advance their agenda of passing out money to non profit organizations while ignoring the fact that the municipal finances have been thrown into disarray by their spending.

    • They don’t even pretend that they want to work with the mayor or pay heed to ALL citizens of anchorage. My way or the highway
      I call it IDIOTology.

  2. The coup rolls on. Wonder if they will eventually attempt to arrest Bronson?

    Lawless Bolsheviks at their finest. Anyone with a brain should get out now.

    Tell me again Alaska is conservative.

  3. So when can LEGAL action be taken against this ROGUE assembly? Sick and tired of them acting like two years old!

  4. It’s all about compromise when moving forward. But recent history has revealed only one side is expected to compromise. The “party of tolerance and diversity” wants has no tolerance for diversity of ideas if they are not in lockstep with their agenda.

    • I am sure that each of the Marxist Nine live (if you can call their miserable and clueless existence as “living”) only to exert their power and control over others. These despicable and reprehensible people are quite simply sociopaths, and therefore evil.

  5. It is time to arrest the criminals in the assembly.
    It appears they WANT the pandemic to be worse than it is. They play into the illusion. I take a look around town and see some masked, some not masked. Generally, no body is living in fear, just going through the motions.
    These children of the assembly are just living out a fantasy where they think themselves saviors. They are not saviors, not in the slightest.
    We must remove these people. Do not comply with their silly ordinances. They are legitimate and should not be taken seriously.
    As far as making them comfortable, sure, we can provide them a pillow for their cots in their jail cells.

  6. This is how “reconciliation” works with the leftists. They have demands and refuse to come to the table to discuss issues and possible solutions. It’s been happening in churches and non-profits, other organizations I’m not privy to and now policy making bodies that rule over everyone.

    Show this to your family or neighbors who think voting doesn’t matter. We need a full on tsunami at every election to reduce the ratio back to a sane level of conservatives : classic liberals.

  7. Would seem to me that the Powers granted each branch of government is given by the city charter. And an ordinance cannot subvert the city charter….Unless one lets it.
    One cannot simply legislate how one would like the city charter to be via the ordnance process.
    It’s a free country, one can try, but that type of action needs to be called out and shut down.

    • Yes, but by whom? Talk radio? Commenters on an internet blog?
      Nobody has the power, nobody has the mechanism to stop these arrogant Leninists.
      It’s painful to stand by helplessly and watch them destroy this city.

      • The voters have the power. They choose this. This is what Anchorage wants.

        Failure to vote is a political choice every bit as much as who you vote for.

        Anchorage’s historical under 25% turnout for not federal races is a clear choice. The average citizen is happy being under Bolshevik rule.

  8. Another power grab by the commie 9.
    More lying from the chair.
    Every one of the commie 9 on the assembly should take the rest of the year and only tell the truth, the actual truth, not the fake lies they are selling the public
    Vote them out next year, every one of the commie 9 must ho before there is nothing left of our city to save from their evil.

  9. Thank goodness we have an assembly that better represents the will of the people in opposition to our failed mayor.

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