The Anchorage Assembly on Monday plans to override a veto by Mayor Dave Bronson of Ordinance 2022-60, a new authority that the Assembly has granted itself to remove the mayor for nearly any reason, so long as the Assembly determines it to be a breach of the public trust.
This is a special meeting of the Assembly that will take place Aug. 1 from 3 pm to 3:30 pm at City Hall in Conference Room #155, 632 West 6th Ave. Live Streaming and Archived meetings can be found at http://www.muni.org/watchnow .
AO-2022-60 was written and sponsored by Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant, who has said several times that Bronson is not qualified to be mayor. Only three members of the Assembly voted against it — Jamie Allard, Kevin Cross, and Randy Sulte. The ordinance says that the Assembly can remove the mayor for a breach of the public trust. The method for removing him involves appointing a third-party hearing officer, and then taking the recommendations of the hearing officer to a vote of the Assembly.
The hearing officer could, for example, be the Assembly’s own attorney-on-contract Bill Falsey, who helped Constant author the ordinance and who was the municipal manager and municipal attorney for former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.
The ordinance has been widely criticized as a power grab and a violation of the separation of power between the executive branch and the legislative branch of government. It’s well understood by observers that the ordinance is merely a preamble to an impeachment attempt. At the very least, it will have a chilling affect on the Mayor’s Office.
Members of the public have not spoken in favor of the ordinance, but many have spoken against it — at least they did until their testimony was ended prematurely by rule of the chair of the Assembly, Suzanne LaFrance.