Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomePoliticsAssembly majority votes to stiff private contractor

Assembly majority votes to stiff private contractor

The Anchorage Assembly met March 22 and approved a surprise resolution by 9-2 to authorize the assembly’s lawyer to pursue legal actions, including an injunction, against the mayor of Anchorage to halt what it considers an unauthorized payment to Roger Hickel Construction, Inc. for construction work at the Navigation Center site at Tudor and Elmore.

The work was done per contract but the Assembly has no intention of paying for it, saying the work was not authorized by the Assembly.
On Feb. 24, the Bronson Administration issued a memorandum to the Assembly saying the city plans to settle the invoice from Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. in the amount of $2.455 million by March 24.
Assembly leadership issued a response immediately upon receipt of the memorandum, reminding the Administration of AO 2022-105, adopted two months earlier, which requires Assembly approval to authorize payments for, “supplies, services, professional services or construction… provided to or performed for the Municipality without an Assembly approval required by Anchorage Municipal Code section 7.15.040.”

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. At this point, it is a bad debt and WAY past overdue. The lien has to be filed 120 days since completion. The debt can now be marketed to a collection agency, at which time said agency could tack on 15% collection fee, attorney fees, file a law suit against the city for fraudulent contracting. I wish I had a spare $3 million laying around, hell, I would pay Roger and go to town on that bunch of self righteous idiots on the dais.

    • MOA standard agreements require Assembly approval for Contract amendments, this will be a 50/50 settlement IMO.

      • Notice they mention the new Moa standard was approved only two months prior to the filing I remember last yr the assembly agreeing with Bronson the 1 and only time. Work was rendered then assembly told Bronson payment was put on hold cause no money.

    • Robert Ruby, Lessons: 1) Liens cannot be filed against public property in Alaska. There is a well-defined administrative claim process for public works projects. 2) Collection agencies generally don’t take receivables to litigation; they focus more on dunning and credit pressures. They work on probability theory applied to receivables for fees as high as 50%. 3) As to fraudulent contracting, that may be a hopeful track. However, a judge will likely examine whether or not the contractor was aware the contract was improper. I would not assume it would be so easily collectible. I’ve completed hundreds of City construction contracts; they were always approved by the city assemblies–without exception.

      • Mr. Coogan – thank you for your post. I wish more people would base their opinions on factual realities instead of hyperbolic rhetoric. Here’s the meeting, wherein they discuss the reasoning behind not paying “the invoice” .

        ‘ There is more at stake than just paying the contractor for work performed.

        The mayor wants the Assembly to accept/ratify/forgive his illegal authorization of expending taxpayer’s money – in violation of the muni code. Is that OK with his supporters? It is not w/ me. Mr. Peterson’s comment about dangerous precedent is very persuasive.

  2. That would be they, the Anncreeeeeeeech Assembly. They also can’t tell the difference between owning property and stealing.

  3. Roger Hickel is a successful contractor and a nephew of the late Governor Wally Hickel. A Republican. A conservative Republican. Not woke. This Assembly is hostile to anything that wreaks of successful, heterosexual, White males.
    The Assembly would write the check with a bonus included if the contractor had Mexicans and tr*nnies on the job.

    • Bigger bonuses for illegals, maternity leave for same sex married couples, time off for transgendered hormone therapy, and b*lldyke forewomen. Have fun collecting, Roger.

      • Yeah, Roger should have promised the Assembly he’d put together the first all-tra*ny construction crew in America. He wouldn’t have to worry about competitive bidding or non-payments anymore. Or, Roger could get innovative and put on a dress and heels at the next Assembly meeting. Payment guaranteed on the spot.

    • Roger, you’re so screwed. If you sue for contract breach and the judge is a lesbian man-hater, you better hire a few lesbian bulldozer driver’s…….
      and quick.


  4. Lawsuits, followed by losses for the city coming.

    It would be more ethical and practical if the Politburo just declared themselves a quasi Junta and ruled the muni themselves. They lack ethics, ignore laws, and do whatever they wish to reward themselves.

    Best of all, Anchorage keeps voting them back into office. Self inflicted wound.

    • Mail in ballots, legalized ballot harvesting, and six figure out of state donations to leftist candidates to hire people to go door to door to carry out ballot harvesting are why Anchorage keeps voting them back into office. With integrity based elections, Anchorage would have a different assembly.

  5. I wonder if the Courts will agree with the Assembly’s ex post facto ruling? Me thinks that the Contractor will get paid, in full and more. After all, the work was contracted and performed prior to the passage of the new ordinance in question.

    • Robert Schenker (coward hiding behind phony name), you may recall that all construction contracts over $100k must be authorized by assembly vote…. regardless of any new ordinance. It would seem a contractor as sophisticated as Hickel would be leery of a multi-million dollar contract not approved in the proper manner. I would not want to be in his position in a courtroom on this matter.

      • I grow very tired of all the chest beating over names. It’s a poor excuse for not having a good rebuttal.

        The same challenge to you as issued to everyone here who does the same: prove it. Prove who you are. Any two pieces of ID acceptable with CGI works, provided one has your picture.

        Otherwise, craft better arguments.

        • Okay Skippy, my reference to Oosik’s fake name constituted a mere salutation; maybe 10% of my text. Meanwhile, the other 90% was my rebuttal. Your anger appears to be a heavy burden…. that it can be so easily triggered by my trivial points.

          For the record, my issues with him started 54-yrs ago in 6th grade.

          • No, I just find keyboard commands vacuous. Especially when they don’t lead by example.

            Skippy? Really? Still stuck in the 6th grade. I suggest growing up, but I won’t ask what’s beyond you.

        • I call you Skippy so you say I’m stuck in the 6th grade. Ironic coming from a guy calling himself the “masked avenger.” Do you also prance around your yard with a fake cape made from your security blanket? Seems you’re the one stuck in 1st grade. By the way, take time to look up the term “Skippy.” You will find I used it appropriately. Hint: the peanut butter was named after a character.

      • Wayne Coogan, my reading of the article and previous articles about this subject led me to believe that the contract had been previously approved. It appears that a recently passed ordinance mentioned to in the article above was passed after the notice to proceed was ostensibly issued to Hickel, hence the ex post facto comment.

        As for assuming my identity, I can only surmise that you are
        a humor challenged person who is incapable of understanding humor at any level. But then being Irish/ German ancestry comes with its limitations so I understand.

        • The mayor went outside of protocol to extend the contract to Hickel. The mayor needs to personallly pay Hickel for the part the mayor broke ordinance for.

  6. This is sure not hickels fault. Let the legal games begin, hundreds of thousands in legal fees and in the end hickel will win . This $2.455 million bill to the Anchorage tax payers will wind up $5 mill before the nonsense is over. Common sense in Anchorage is gone and this city council could care less.

    • Doug, you are presuming a sophisticated public works contractor will not be held accountable by a judge for willfully engaging in an improperly-awarded contract? Do you believe, if a bureaucrat uses a public check book to buy a cord of firewood from you for $20,000, a judge cannot require you return the money less the actual $400 value of the firewood? I realize its not the same fact patter but I’m sure you get the point that procurement laws are in place for a reason. Those who disregard them do so at their peril.

  7. The body of this story and what actually is happening lend no credence to the title of this article! What gives?

  8. So the City of Anchorage signed a contract to have the work performed, the work was then performed and now they aren’t going to pay for it? Sounds like when this winds up in court the Contractor will have a pretty good case. Other contractors will now likely be skeptical of signing contracts with Anchorage for fear of this kind of B.S. happening to them. The invoice should be paid, the assembly and rest of municipality should sort out the funding source amongst themselves. Regardless of the missteps in protocol, the invoice should be paid.

    • The City did not sign the Contract, Bronson does not have the checkbook. RHI proceeded at risk and is liable for 50% of the costs.

    • I was thinking along similar lines.

      This accomplishes two things.

      -it will make vendors less likely to want to do business with the mayor, further isolating him.

      -it de facto warns off vendors the Politburo doesn’t like. Essentially making it so only “favored” vendors will bother.

    • RHI may have turned this over to their insurance carrier, their insurance carrier will hire the lawyers and decide how to proceed. RHI will pay their deductible and their permiums may go up next year, or as in the Kincaid Soccer Field lead soil debacle RHI will pull a $1Million out of their bank account

      • The scripture says “The workman is worthy of his wages”. SO when the work is done the workman is worthy to be paid. The Assembly is pulling a bait and switch. The Contractor in good faith responsively accomplished the work as the City through its agents obligated the funds. Merely, substantially refusing to work together at the outset as they still are not doing does not provide cover for late paying or non-paying a responsive contractor in rhis community. What an example of yet another shameful action. This Democrat Assembly has shown time and time again they have no regard for Anchorage businesses in the city where fully 1/2 the state’s population resides. If they cared about their constituents we say pay that invoice in a timely way.

        • Have not found the Bible referenced in standard MOA Contracts, perhaps you can provide the location?

  9. RHI has performed many MOA Contracts and understands the Assembly is required to approve any Contract Amendments more than $30,000. There was no Contract authorized above $50,000, based on standard MOA agreements RHI proceeded at risk and is liable for 50% of the unauthorized costs.

    • If you believe that, you are not as intelligent as I think you are. The Assembly appropriated the money to build the navigation center in the location where RHI started construction. The contract was within the amount of money appropriated, and time was of the essence. However, the Assembly changed their minds and, knowing that construction was well underway, decided not to approve the contract. This has nothing to do with RHI and everything to do with the Assembly wanting to give Bronson a black eye. So now they will spend money on two sets of attorneys so they can fight each other over this. Three sets when they have to pay RHI’s legal costs.

    • The Anchorage people have said: “Where are printed copies of the Anchorage Charter?” Where are printed copies of Policy and Procedure Manuals for the Contractor and his lawyers to peruse? Or for that matter the public? Delegating a responsibility to know current purchasing policies is rather an unreasonable demand considering there is no where the the public and teams of lawyers can readily locate and access Municipality of Anchorage Purchase and Acquisation Policy and Procedures Manuals thus the Corporation of Anchorage is acting in the whole negligently. The muni must print Policy and Procedures Manuals and The Charter volumes and make them purchasable by the many interested publics instead of demanding the well-meaning publics intuit them accuratrly or stand ready to sue civilly for a very laye payday. I thought democrats like workmen. Evidently not so much. How malevolent.

    • Too much. Maybe the contractor should sue the assembly members individually for breech of contract since they are acting as the administration. Hopefully everyone here votes. Vote today to end this madness!

    • Depends on how good the lawyer for the plaintiff is, how much the city wants to fight, and if Scott Kendall gets involved.

      Also factor in how pissed the vendor must be. Assume millions into six figures, minimum.

      -they gotta get their money
      -they will go after the Muni for damages (wages lost doing this job when they could have done others), time spent fighting this when they could be doing other things.
      -court costs and legal fees
      -will they sue the Muni only or each member of the Politburo and Bronson.

  10. How is it that the Assembly is able to “have authority” to take over everything, to lie, cheat and steal…and get away with it?! It’s a well known fact that most of them dispise the Mayor Bronson and the decisions they have and are making, reflect thus. With everything they have said and done, they should have been ran off a long time ago! Most of them have done nothing but work hard to destroy Anchorage and the people living here..which I Believe, is their intention.
    Praying that all will be made right.

    • Instead of praying, get together with people of like minds and work to get them out.

      God gave you all the tools to affect your fate. Use them.

  11. The Assembly acts in bad faith towards ANYONE who doesn’t support their opinions and immoral agenda.

  12. Deep state is real and some of us contractors haven’t been paid on time by the government as they don’t do their job properly👀👨‍🔧 Oh if you’re not union you’ll be punished out on a project due to the fact that most of the governments are union 🤔 And all unions favor the Democrats 🤷🏼💤

  13. I mean, if it cuts down on government spending I’m surprised for once I’m on the assembly’s side for this one. If we can get out of paying then why not? We spend too much as it is and services need to be cut. I don’t want my tax dollars being spend on wild projects. In a rare moment of the assembly reducing spending we should be applauding them so that maybe they will catch on that spending less is better.

    • So you feel purchasing 25 million building and property off Arctic is a better bang for the buck deal? Then you have to remodel it. Sounds like the Assembly were not allowed to get their grift on and pulled the rug out from underneath this project.

      • No, I’m a conservative. I don’t support any spending project for this, much less one with a million attached to the dollar sign. The best bang for my buck is not to have the government spend any of my buck.

    • The assembly is not reducing spending by refusing to pay this contractor. If they had approved it as they indicated they were going to before changing their mind, the Navigation Center would be constructed or under construction. Instead they are purchasing various hotels and properties around Anchorage to operate as Homeless shelters. Some of which need extensive repairs such as the Golden Lion. They are in fact, increasing the spending by the addition of all the legal fees that this lawsuit with RHI will incur.

      • Don’t purchase hotels/properties, don’t pay this contractor, don’t spend money on expensive repairs for outdated buildings. It’s real easy to balance the budget and stop taking money from citizens. The issue is all government officials are too busy enriching themselves. The lot of them need to be replaced.

      • The Golden Lion didn’t need those extensive repairs when Mayor Bronson let WEKA do their monoclonal antibodies treatments there.

        Seems curious that now that the assembly wants to use it as a homeless shelter, it needs so much work.

        Did the city even get paid by WEKA for their use of the property?

        • It wont matter, the state will take the property when they re work the New Seward and 36th ave. intersection. The assembly was informed of this when they tried to use the Wuhan funds to purchase it. The Navigation center was not designed for them to divert some of the funds to themselves and or friends. This is why they want the Arctic Rec center.

          • Look at the map provided by USDOT. Only a small portion of the parking lot will be taken for road construction. It is the area in front of Moose’s Tooth and the sushi restaurant that lose land for the Seward Highway work.

        • Simple. People getting an antibody infusion are not taking up residence . probably not even staying overnight. Apples and oranges versus a residential facility.

          • Not so simple Chuck.

            A medical facility, like WEKA claimed to be, needs a clean, if not sterile environment. If the damage is so bad that it needs this much work to get it up and running, what was WEKA doing to or with the property when they were the tenants?

  14. Let’s start a non payment to the assembly. No money for anything. They need to meet at the homeless camp. No free lunches.

    • Well the assembly creates ordinances and holds the purse strings. They were, as was the mayor, elected by the citizens of Anchorage. Good luck

  15. Prog assembly vs Prog mayor I just don’t get it they all want to spend hundreds of millions of other peoples money on something that the government can’t fix why are they fighting so much? My only guess is the assembly can’t get their skim of the money if Prog Bronson spends it the way he wants and Bronson can’t get his skim if the assembly spends it the way they want. All these parties need to be stripped of their power. if 2020 taught me anything it’s that these thieving parasites have far to much power.

  16. A terrible example of scorched earth politics and revenge from the Assembly members. It hurts everyone. Roger Hickel is an employer of many. It hurts them all. We must vote out these rabid Assembly members who don’t solve problems, but instead, create them via divisive politics.

  17. This Assembly is a stain to our city that causes more problems than they are worth. Vote yes on Eaglexit, I am tired of paying ineptitude and decision making. Worst bunch of kids sine lord of the flies crew.

  18. I whole heartedly agree with Patricia. The tyrants on the assembly should be retired with legal votes on paper ballots verified by voter IDs. The war on conservatives needs end. Anchorage must do away with mail in ballots/voting, especially since the State of Alaska is unable or unwilling to clean up the voter registration database. Alaska must pull out of E.R.I.C. This must be the highest priority of the Governor/Lt. Governor. Ranked choice voting (RCV) is illegal and does not follow state constitution or federal – one vote per legal voter. The instructions for RCV prove it isn’t legal. Alaska must cleanup the judicial system too. Yes it is time for the Muni Clerk to retire. Enough of the shenanigans by tyrants.

    • The war on conservatives is long over and the conservatives lost. Anchorage has gone the way of Seattle. Alaska isn’t far behind.

      Time to accept reality.

      You have the socialist utopia you have because the voters of Anchorage who bother to vote want it.

      You have a modest chance to change things if you accept reality. You have none if you refuse to accept it.

      Choice is yours.

  19. If they knew the work was going on and they didn’t approve it they should have informed the contractor he would not be getting paid. You can’t complain about the meal after you ate the whole thing.

  20. I feel sorry for Hickel, but he should well know that the assembly must approve all large contracts. I am on a LSRA board and anything over plowing or filling cracks needs approval. Usually they approve but Hickel should have known they might not.

    I am glad not paying might keep this homeless shelter out of my neighborhood. We already have one here on Tudor.

  21. They’re. Going to have fun finding contractors to do the work on the Lion. I wouldnt work for proven deadbeats!!

  22. Sure is interesting to see assembly members defending their BS under alias names. Same way they are hiding their money laundering operations under 501 organizations that do no good to fix the problem. It’s becoming just too obvious even to the rubes. Marshal Dillon is onto y’all.

  23. Although, I don’t approve of the location (not in my backyard mentality)
    The city and the contractor moving to race the Alaska winter weather to actually get something done is a good thing.
    To say the municipality elections are NOT partisan is a joke. The mail-in installed assembly cannot allow the city/mayor be seen as solving or moving in a positive direction. The ADN and local mainstream super spreaders might actually have to to convey something non-slanderous.
    I hope and pray that if any of these individuals need an immediate life-saving procedure, the hospital, and the doctors stop the bleeding before arguing about payment and optics.

  24. There’s political and social victory in any limited financial loss for Hickel Construction in this situation. Do you think they were totally ignorant of the political cesspool they were stepping into? Come on guys, Hickels helped build the state. Give them more credit.

  25. The Anchorage taxpayer should sue the assembly for gross incompetence and miss management of taxpayer funds. They have proven beyond a doubt that they can’t balance a checkbook or run a city correctly. Where is the attorney that is willing to take them to court and sue them?

  26. 👋🏾 Happy friday bots, trolls and local lurking Los Anchorage frens.
    I’ve had the pleasure of photographing and meeting the infamous late Wally Hickel.
    As a resident I too am curious to understand the chronology of events.

    I came across this 1st listening session with the public on the Navigation Shelter site from April of 2022. At 2min in you hear all the juicy details about who is involved and how the process is supposed to work. The project manager Zac mentions Hickel was awarded the contract through an RFP.

    I’m looking forward to the day I can as a resident query a public and open database to understand how RFP are handled and decided.

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