Assembly loses: Court tosses equity officer scheme, which violates Anchorage charter and separation of powers

28
615

Mayor David Bronson applauded the Alaska Superior Court’s ruling that Assembly Ordinance 2020-79(S), which creates the Office of Equity and Justice in the Municipality of Anchorage, is invalid because it violates the Anchorage Municipal Charter. 

The ruling came from Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby.  Judge Crosby held that Assembly Ordinance 2020-79(S) is invalid because it conflicts with the charter provisions granting the mayor removal power of municipal department heads and establishing the separation of powers between the executive branch and the Assembly.

Judge Crosby found that the Anchorage Assembly created a municipal department under direct supervision of the mayor by placing the Office of Equity and Justice within the office of the mayor.

The court also found that because the Office is a municipal department, the Chief Equity Officer is a department head under the Charter. Judge Crosby held that the Charter prohibits any limitations on the mayor’s power to remove department heads. 

Judge Crosby also held that the ordinance’s infringement upon the mayor’s power to remove department heads violates the charter’s separation of powers provision because it permits interference with powers explicitly delegated to the mayor.

“The ordinance the Assembly passed is a clear violation of my authority and executive powers,” said Bronson. Since the beginning of my administration, this assembly has consistently infringed on the executive branch’s authority and purview. I applaud the Superior Court for their ruling protecting separations of powers and preventing the assembly’s repeated, autocratic overreaches of power.”

Attached is the ruling by Superior Court Judge Crosby.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Just like Democrats at the national level, the Marxist Nine assembly members will violate the law and press the issue until they are held to account by the legal system. Their violations of the Constitution and of local laws doesn’t matter to them so long as they push their agenda.

  2. Agreed. The assembly is gradually subsuming the mayor’s duties. Many years ago the city was run by the executive not the assembly. They are in the details almost like department directors. They love this unstoppable creativity.

  3. It would be a good thing to eliminate the Office of Equity and Justice, more appropriately described as an office of inequity and injustice.

  4. That our Assembly would pass an ordinance that is so clearly outside the bounds of our charter is so very telling of its poor character. Vote carefully dear neighbors.

  5. This is fantastic news. Latest obscenity from the Assembly, 2022-60, if I remember correctly, conflicts equally with the Charter.
    No, the Assembly does not get first stab at removing the Mayor, not unless the Mayor is provided an equal level of authority to remove an Assembly member. Clear violation of the equal powers condition of the Charter.

  6. Good, but the courts take so long. How long did it take for the court to rule on this, about a year? If the court does overturn AO 2022-60 that violates separation of powers and the people’s right to decide who is mayor, it will take so long that the Assembly could have already used it to remove Mayor Bronson, and install one of themselves as mayor.

    • The Mayor could seek a stay on any removal action pending a court decision. It would likely be successful given the disruption that would result otherwise.

  7. There really should be punitive charges against these assembly members, at the very least the legal costs involved. Otherwise, they will continue to break the law at taxpayer expense.

    • Yes, there should be punitive action taken against all Assembly members who drafted, supported, and voted to pass what they all knew to be an illegal ordinance. They same goes for members of the US Congress who push bills or amendments that they know, or should know, are unconstitutional.

  8. Maybe the city should have waited for this decision before settling with (paying off) the “equity” officer that Bronson fired.

  9. Mayor Bronson, please fire these socialist members of the assembly who constantly vote to usurp the powers/duties granted to you by the charter.

  10. Why are my comments on firing the socialists members of the assembly “in awaiting moderation” status? I thought free speech is the basis of Must Read Alaska????

    • ALL comments submitted are ‘in awaiting moderation’ status until final publication, Rita, including this one.

      It is simply part of the process, not censorship.

  11. YAY!!! One for the good guys. I applaud Judge Crosby for this decision. Chris Constant is a horrible person. He not only lies by omission, he makes it up as he goes along! I pray for you, Anchorage, you truly need help and Mayor Bronson is making that effort. He should be applauded!

  12. There was a time when folks like the 9 were run out of town and labeled communists, anti-american gigolo’s. This illogical disease has spread through America and is pervasive in Anchorage, they are responsible for the decay and festering rot in many American cities, they have fueled rampant crime, drugs and immorality. This rot and disease will fester until they are all removed and labeled for what they are, unamerican.

  13. There was an obvious cost to employ this position as well as a cost to fire the person. It was and is an unnecessary position. Perhaps the guy who now fills it will realize it and resign. It should just remain unfilled until it is eventually dropped. This position was implemented before the mayor was elected and he probably would have never proposed it. Bureaucracy at its worst! All it does is ‘cost money’!

  14. This will save lots of money. These “Equity Officers” are in such high demand that their annual salaries usually go well north of $100K per year with attendance optional. Thank you Judge Crosby.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.