Assembly recall do-over: Zaletel, Rivera are targets

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Anchorage citizens trying to recall Assembly member Meg Zaletel are appealing the denial of their application for a petition to Superior Court. The appeal is expected to be filed this week.

But in the meantime, they have their sights set on taking out another Assembly member: Assembly Chair Felix Rivera.

Led by Russell Biggs, the group has filed new petition applications to recall both Zaletel and Rivera. The group has new language on these petitions, which require an OK from the Municipal Clerk before she can issue petition booklets.

Meg Zaletel

The recall petition reads:

“Assembly chair Felix Rivera committed misconduct in office on August 11, 2020 by violating EO-15, an emergency order intended to protect the health and safety of Anchorage citizens, issued by the Mayor of Anchorage pursuant to AMC 3.80.060(H) by: 1) knowingly participating in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people (a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly) and 2) continuing to participate in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people at a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly after being specifically informed of the violation. Assembly chair Rivera failed to perform prescribed duties as chair of the Assembly by allowing the August 11 meeting he was presiding over to continue in violation of EO-15 after the violation was brought to his attention by a point of order. Of all citizens in Anchorage the chair of the Anchorage Assembly should have been scrupulous in obeying the gathering limitations established by paragraph 4 of EO-15. His failure to do so needlessly endangered the lives of Anchorage citizens, encouraged the spread of COVID 19 throughout the community, and merits recall from office.” 

The second petition to recall Zaletel is similarly worded.

Both petitions were signed by a dozen people and filed with the Municipal Clerk this afternoon.

Biggs said, “Reclaim Midtown is deeply disappointed by the meritless rejection of our valid recall petition that clearly meets the standard of Alaska Law.”

Reclaim Midtown is ad hoc group of concerned citizens in the community that object to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ and the Assembly’s plan to purchase two hotels, an old Alaska Club building and Beans’ Cafe to launch a network of services for Anchorage vagrants and drug addicts. The plan involves the use of CARES Act funds that many in Anchorage believe are being misused.

“Our community effort to remove Meg Zaletel for her role in denying Anchorage citizens the right to participate in the most controversial piece of Assembly legislation in recent memory has been an important example of the methods of government overreach used by the Municipality’s administration to stifle free speech and the right to assemble,” Biggs said.

“Municipal Attorney Kate Vogel’s flawed legal arguments used to justify the denial has been rejected in no less than three prior Alaska Supreme Court rulings and flies directly in the face of both settled case law and the Alaska Constitution,” he said. “The decision is patently inappropriate and we will now turn to the courts for remedy.”

Biggs said the Assembly is setting a double standard, forcing some businesses to close, while conducting business with an excess of the legally allowed number of people under the mayor’s emergency orders that were in effect in August, when the violation occurred and when the controversial ordinance was passed.

“We look forward to their explanation of why the same rules used to economically destroy local Anchorage businesses and strip the citizen’s right to participate in their government were not applied equally to our elected officials,” he said.

12 COMMENTS

  1. A group that opposes the mayor’s covid safety mandates wants to recall Rivera because he didn’t follow the mayor’s covid safety mandates. This makes sense in a country where a billionaire pays $750 in federal income taxes.

    • And which billionaires are you talking about? If it’s Trump you’re targeting (whom I didn’t vote for in 2016) did you actually read the entire New York Times article? Trump actually overpaid $750 every year after he paid millions in taxes. And one of the loopholes that allowed Trump to get a giant return was Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act that allowed all those uber-rich folks, like bankers, to avoid even more taxes.
      .
      If you’re upset about the tax code, take it up with Congress in DC. Congress has created deductions and loopholes ever since Woodrow Wilson created the IRS to appease all those lucrative corporate donations they receive every year. And you should question Joe Biden. He was able to allow his state, Delaware, to be the “National Tax-Haven Of the Country”, where there’s more corporations than people. P.S. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump used the same exact Delaware street address, along with over 235,000 other corporations and politicians, in 2016.
      .
      #TaxationIsTheft

    • Eric:

      Please read more than the headlines. It will make you sound a lot smarter.

      Trump made several partial payments when he filed his requests for extension. It is required of anyone filing an extension. He actually paid more like $6M through the filing process. The $750 was the difference between his estimated payments, and the final amount due. And, the NYT article actually goes on to say that. Had you actually read the full article you would have known that.

    • Typical liberal, making a comment on something without having the facts. Read the entire article and get back to us.

  2. I think the recall against Rivera should be based on his declaration that he will use federal dollars to specifically infringe on the civil rights of business owners based on their skin color.

    He has clearly threatened to use the money based on skin color.

    He is breaking the Civil Rights Act to supposedly bring racial equity.

    He should have civil rights criminal charges brought against him and the city. He is as sick as the KKK.

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