On the agenda for Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting is an ordinance to hire yet another new position in the municipality that is controlled by the Assembly: A staff assistant to the Assembly who has unfettered access to all municipal employees and all municipal property, without having to go through the executive branch or its leaders, such as the mayor or city manager.
AO No. 2021-66 is on the agenda for the meeting that starts at 5 pm at the Loussac Library on July 27. The ordinance is in the “Public Hearing” section of the agenda.
The person hired by the Assembly will “have full, free and unrestricted access” to:
- All public records, as defined in section 3.90.020;
- All activities of the municipal government and its various departments;
- All municipal property;
- All municipal personnel;
- All policies, plans and procedures, and records pertaining to financial expenditures by municipal funds; and
- This subsection C. does not authorize public disclosure of confidential or privileged material under federal, state or local law, or of material the public disclosure of which constitutes anunwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
In practice, this means the staff to the assembly can engage in dialogue with and gather information from city employees who report to the mayor, no matter how deliberative or premature the information may be. Taken to its extreme, the ordinance allows the Assembly staff person to rifle through the desks of the executive branch, literally and figuratively.
“All activities of the municipal government and its various departments” means the Assembly’s shadow mayor can walk into staff meetings or planning meetings without receiving permission. He or she can demand all plans that are being worked on by the executive branch.
The ordinance is being offered by Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance and Vice Chair Chris Constant. It’s apparent that the two leaders on the Assembly have the votes to pass the ordinance, which is, in effect, will create someone who shadows every move of the Bronson Administration so that the liberal Assembly can get ahead of the executive branch.
The “Bypass Bronson” ordinance can be read in full at this link: