Assembly denies Mayor Bronson the funds to ship a structure Anchorage already owns for homeless

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The liberal majority Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday voted against a $240,000 appropriation to ship a municipality-owned structure to Anchorage that would shelter hundreds of homeless people. Some 900 people will be unsheltered in Anchorage on June 1 when the emergency cold weather shelter season ends.

The shelter is part of Mayor Dave Bronson’s original “navigation center” plan to erect a “sprung structure,” which is similar to a massive heavy-duty tent. He offered the navigation center plan when he was first elected, but the Assembly has fought him every step of the way. The building was purchased by the municipality in 2022, and the foundation has been set for it on city property near Tudor Blvd. and Elmore Road, but the structure needs to be shipped to Anchorage. Fixtures for the building have been purchased and have been languishing in a warehouse in Eagle River for two years, as the Assembly fights the mayor.

The Assembly failed to adopt the resolution to the regular agenda, citing there is no emergency to warrant moving quickly on the transportation of this shelter structure. The funds for shipping the shelter would come from opioid settlement funds.

Assembly member Felix Rivera, who leads the Assembly’s homelessness committee, indicated there is no emergency that would make it necessary to put the item on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting as a “laid on the table” item, although the Assembly members themselves often put such items on the agenda that are not emergencies.

“This afternoon, the Administration distributed a resolution to be laid-on-the-table at tonight’s meeting, which means that the legislation was not submitted by the regular or addendum deadlines to be included on our agenda and made available for public review. The resolution would appropriate $240,000 to ship a Sprung structure to Anchorage. The rationale given for laying this item on the table was for budgetary reasons only, which was rejected by a 9-2 vote. Members encouraged the administration to meet either the regular or addendum deadlines for the April 23 meeting to properly submit this item.”

Rivera continued: “Legislative process aside, the item brought before us today was not a plan or solution being presented to the Assembly. It was simply the appropriation of funds to ship the Sprung structure up to Alaska. If the administration has a plan to address the rise in unsheltered homelessness once Emergency Cold Weather Shelter closes, I look forward to seeing that in the future.”

Mayor Bronson’s response to the Assembly’s action was that the administration “is leaving no stone unturned to find a sheltering solution for the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Unfortunately, the Anchorage Assembly has denied every solution the administration has brought forward and has provided no alternative.”

The Alex Hotel in Spenard will close its sheltering rooms, which are paid for by taxpayers, on May 7. The Aviator Hotel in downtown Anchorage, now housing 274 individuals on the taxpayer dime, will close its sheltering rooms by May 31, and the shelter on 56th Avenue will be closed by July, unless state matching funds are secured. The 900 people being sheltered in these facilities will return to parks, greenbelts, and sidewalks throughout Anchorage.

38 COMMENTS

  1. It is good to know that as the public hears the assembly and its supporters continually say, “This mayor Bronson has done nothing to help the homeless like he promised!”, since Bronson is not a dictator, he can actually do NOTHING withOUT the Assembly’s approval.
    He can’t even appoint positions without being denied at every turn. Basically, the Assembly is denying the voters their mayor and his wisdom.

    • “…since Bronson is not a dictator, he can actually do NOTHING withOUT the Assembly’s approval.”
      Expecting the average voter to realize that is the problem. Most just vote for whomever has the most ads, signs, and coolest slogan.

  2. Well considering that 90% of the homeless come from the bush, we could create a muni owned village somewhere in the bush where sober living is required for housing. Somewhere far away from liquor stores, drug dealers, grocery stores that don’t prosecute shoplifting, and no propane tanks. There could be treatment centers and medical care. Everyone in Anchorage would have to go to this village if they are homeless derelicts and get arrested for theft or public nuisance laws… the same way bush village banish their problem people.
    We won’t let meg zalatel vote on it, but we could call it the Zalatelville.

    • They are here because they are irresponsible drunks. Send then to Portland where they love irresponsible drunks.

    • We already have this.
      There are almost 200 villages in AK; at least half are totally dry villages.
      They have medical/mental health care in these villages; you have to be “dry” to live in them.
      But, like Prohibition, (1930’s) this is not actually working out because of human behavior.
      Instead people from dry villages, where bootleg is VERY pricey, come to ANC where it’s cheap to drink, easy to find food and life is a party.

  3. Yet more proof the Politburo doesn’t give a damn about the homeless. Except how they can profit off them.

  4. It is not in the interest of the Assembly to solve the addict problem. They profit from it. Conflict of interest is the only interest they have. Time for the Mayor to file a lawsuit concerning the situation, and out the Meg Zalatels of the Assembly as completely lacking in ethics.

  5. The assembly doesn’t care about solving the homeless issues. Too many of them make their living of the homeless industry!!

  6. Using the homeless as a tool. Assembly chooses optics over solutions. Being directed by adn to give best possible headlines. Feed the lemmings just enough gibberish so they can feel enlightened chatting with their peers as to who’s more enlightened.

  7. So is there a cost for storing this structure where it is now? This assembly is a real clown show.

  8. These folks are not homeless, they are addicts, or mentally ill, and choose not to be housed. Treating it with housing only does nothing whatsoever. For those who want to work and take care of themselves, there are plenty of nicely funded programs. That’s not who we are discussing.

    None of the proposals by the Assembly treat any of this rationally.

      • I believe their personal animus for the current Mayor will not allow them to support any of his efforts in this arena. As soon as Mr. Bronson is gone, they’ll move on this quickly and take all the credit for any positive outcome while (continuing to) blaming Mr. Bronson for being the evil behind this growing problem for nearly three years.

        As others have commented, Los Anchorage residents have difficulty coming up with the energy to pull the lever in the ballot booth. Even after the ASSembly, ostensibly, made it easier to cast that vote. Despite being out of town at times during election season, I’ve manage to cast my ballot in every election for the last 46 years, save one primary that was an utter waste of time.

        I simply don’t understand this town. Better than a winter at the Hot Springs, I suppose.

    • House them first is a valid approach, but if, and ONLY if, it is done in conjunction with addiction treatment, therapy, job training, etc… None of which the Assembly are pushing for. Just housing.
      .
      The areas that have had success with a housing first approach are not run by leftist jackholes. Those that just made the situation worse are.

  9. We could spend that same money on one way tickets to Portland and be rid of 90 percent of the hobos.

    • Totally agree with you Snapper… Send them to Portland… Or to the door of the idiots on the ASSembly!🤭

  10. I moved from SC Alaska two years ago because of this kind of effluence flowing out of Anchorage. It’s even been making its way into the Mat-Su where I lived. It’s people like the groups discussed in this article that are going to make Alaska an untenable option for most working/middle class people and families. Back in the 80s when I first visited Anchorage it was a thriving town, minus the S&L debacle in the late 80s, the town continued to grow and thrive into the 90s and 00s. Since around 2012 some sort of malaise or canker has rooted itself deeply in what was once considered a great place to live and raise a family. In my opinion, Anchorage is headed for a societal decline, just as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco have. In fact many of the people who’ve facilitated the decline of Anchorage, and Alaska eventually, were refugees from California, Oregon, and Washington State. They never learned from their mistakes in their original homes, and in failing to learn their life lessons, repeated the exact same mistakes in Alaska. Best of luck to my peeps still living in Alaska.

    • Proving that you can’t move away, you have to stand and fight for your towns and cities. This isn’t going away. Grow a pair and saddle-up people.

  11. The Anchorage ass-embly is being run by children, that’s basically the Democrat party in a nutshell.

    • If you had better reading/listening skills you would have a clearer picture of Mayor Bronson’s attempt to use the “navigation center” as not just a place to “hide” the homeless in the woods but instead a place to evaluate each and every individuals handicaps and seek professional help to get them the help each one requires to get rehabilitation necessary to get back on track.
      Hopefully with jobs and abilities to house themselves and lead a productive lifestyle instead of the self destructive life the ASSembly and specifically Meg Zalatel prefer which keeps their salaries at a premium as long as the client list is growing.
      Sometimes it helps to raise your head and take a deep breath of oxygen which is crucial to solving simple issues but for most on the ASSembly that is a lot to ask of them.

    • Hey Rast.
      The old cop shop IS steps away from Tudor Road, Tudor Rd bike trail & Tudor Rd bus stops.
      The site is ON Tudor Road.
      There are some trees between Tudor Road (& it’s bike trail) the old police evidence lot.
      That’s it Rast, a thin line of trees.
      Should we cut the trees down so libs can see the site & realize it is on Tudor Road?
      Stop your propaganda Frank (before I get a chain saw & mow those trees down)

  12. Mayor Bronson cannot win with this assembly! I was present at the meeting last night 4/9/24. Between chair constant with his litany of terrible things Bronson has done (apparently as the liberal members believe)and Zalatel’s antics toward the municipal attorney regarding the confidentiality agreement between the muni and Eklutna water project, it was a s*it show! And WE THE PEOPLE don’t matter! So, let’s withhold the money to ship material here where we may be able to achieve a solution to the out of control homeless issues
    instead of paying storage fees elsewhere…you can’t make this stuff up!! If LaFrance wins in the mayoral runoff the executive and legislative branch will have no checks and balances!!! Vote! Vote! Vote!

  13. Suzanne, Are you using stock photos of the Assembly? I wrote to them, cc’d the mayor, that rainbow flags in front of each assembly member was inappropropriate for a government office. Perhaps they should be replaced with the United States of America flag, State of Alaska flags, or at least a Municipality of Anchorage flag? When I worked for the State, also a government office, we were forbidden to display religious items, such as a Bible or religious picture (yet the halls contained zen-like pictures, which to me indicated some Eastern religion, but now I’ve gone off on a tangent). I have nothing against gays, in fact I have several gay friends, but I do think it is inappropriate for the Assembly to display a rainbow flag at each podium.

  14. Respectfully suggest, Mr. Mayor, checking availability of federal, state, NGO, and/or Native Corporation grants which could be applied toward shipping the structure to Anchorage.
    .
    Shipper(s) may be persuaded to discount shipping rates in return for free publicity resulting from their significant charitable contribution (think corporate ESG score).
    .
    Shipping may be possible as a National Guard training exercise, also with free publicity.
    .
    Of course Assembly members will be rather embarrassingly bypassed, unable to interfere as, sadly, progress happens in spite of them.
    .
    But we’ll be okay with that, no?

  15. In LaFrance’s latest ad, she blames Bronson for exactly this kind of stuff.
    Everything she is laying at the feet of the Mayor is the direct result of her and her friends on the Assembly trying to destroy Bronson from day one.

  16. Know how LaFrance can claim that Mayor Bronson is pursuing a “crisis” mode toward the homeless? Because she and her apostles on the Assembly are creating the crisis.

  17. The assembly blocks every solution the mayor comes up with and rarely has a solution of its own making. Sad what has happened over the years here. When will Anchorage residents open their eyes and make their own decisions.

    • Never.
      Oil money is gone.
      It’s over.
      Back to being a blue, FDR state, funded almost entirely by Government.
      Only this time they won’t be sending welfare people to The Valley from Wiconson/Minn.

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