Assembly to reorganize at special meeting Friday - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Assembly to reorganize at special meeting Friday

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WILL DUNBAR BE SWAPPED IN AS ACTING MAYOR?

Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera has scheduled a special meting for the purpose of reorganizing the Anchorage Assembly. That meeting is Friday, Oct. 16, at 5 pm in the Assembly Chambers at the Loussac Library.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has resigned effective Oct. 23. If no change is made, Rivera will become acting mayor until a special election is held. Rivera might not be acceptable to the majority of the Assembly.

Anchorage Charter states that if a vacancy occurs, a special election shall be held not less than 90 days from the date of the vacancy, or if the vacancy occurs less than 90 days before an election, the vacancy is not filled.

Observers say that Forrest Dunbar will be put in as acting mayor in the meantime, which would give him an advantage as he runs for mayor during the regularly scheduled April 6 election. Presumably he would also run for acting mayor during the special election.

It doesn’t always work out well, however, to take over the sunset of a mayor’s second term, as Dunbar would be doing. It happen to Matt Claman in 2009, who had stepped into the shoes for Mayor Mark Begich, when he left office early to join the U.S. Senate. There were 15 in the race, which ended up in a runoff between Dan Sullivan (not the senator) and Eric Croft.

Sullivan had nearly 44 percent, but 45 percent was required to win outright. The next closest was Eric Croft, who came in at a distant 19.63 percent. Claman was far down the list at 5.71 percent.

Dunbar, if he became temporary mayor, would inherit the mantle of failed administration, with higher crime, homelessness, and taxes. He is famous for saying the Constitution is a racist document, and is considered the most leftwing of any of the announced candidates.

The term of the mayor ends on June 30, with the new mayor starting July 1. If Rivera or Dunbar become acting mayor, their seats would remain unfilled and the acting mayor cannot vote, but can only veto.

The runoff election has the same percentage provision as a regular election, meaning the victor needs to have 45 percent, and a runoff would bump up against the regular April 6 election.

Another twist to the story is that four Assembly members have recall petitions filed against them.

Rivera and Assembly member Meg Zalatel are the subjects of a recall by a group of midtown Anchorage residents, who are awaiting a decision from the City Attorney for whether or not their petition may move forward, while at the same time a lawsuit is pending over the City Attorney’s denial of a prior recall petition request.

In a separate case, Assembly members Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Vervia are the subjects of a recall attempt by David Nees and Dustin Darden.

Anchorage elections are held by mail, and this means there could be as many as four mail-in elections in Anchorage between now and a possible runoff after the April 6 election, if no candidate gets at least 45 percent on the first round.

Announced candidates include Dunbar, Eric Croft, Bill Falsey, Bill Evans, Dave Bronson, and Mike Robbins.

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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.

Latest comments

  • So, our woke out-of-control assembly is going to reorganize itself. The mail-only election is controlled by the Muni, without transparency or any effective oversight or redress. And the city attorney, securely in the pocket of the Jacobins, is watching out for our interests, ruling on admissibility of recall petitions. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Anchorage’s vote-by-mail has got to go. Anchorage needs to return to voting in November, using Alaska Division of Elections rules. Anchorage needs to vote no on all judges that legislate from the bench. They are corrupt.

  • If I understand this correctly, the vacation of mayoral office and replacement with an active assembly member who then cannot vote but only veto means that the districts of Dunbar or Rivera are bereft of full representation. Am I correct? Please advise.

    • You are correct.

  • This is what happens when fringe radicals get elected.

    We need to clean house at the Assembly. We need a class action lawsuit by small business owners to recover the Covid monies misspent on drug addicts. We need the FBI to step up their investigations and return the federal dollars to their intended purpose: rescuing small business from the lockdown mandates.

    • The FBI is busy trying to “unelect” the President of the United States.

  • I wonder if the voters of Anchorage have learned their lesson(s)?

  • What we really need to do is get rid of mail-in voting. Everything started going to hell after that was adopted.

    • Exactly when was the majority election approving mail in ballots? It’s not like it cost the muni anything, most posts were posted with volunteers. I honestly want to see results by anchorage voters, whom passed this with a majority vote. Other than that, lesson learned citizens of Los Anchorage, get your ass out and vote, or don’t complain about results of your inconvenience.

    • Who will wear Little Napoleon’s shoes? Size 4, men’s, should be easy to fill with this Assembly.

      • The shoe size isn’t troubling to me. The fact that he wears children’s gloves does however.

  • I’ll “second that motion.” How do we get rid of mail-in voting? Just stick another zillion-dollar bond on the ballot and voila, it passes. Yup.

    • Need to start a Petition Drive to have this on the April Ballot. Kenai did this and the passed the repeal by 67% of the vote. The Muni Races need to be aligned with the other Elections or maybe just one month prior like the Valley, maybe with this more people will pay attention and Vote. The Assembly minus two or three need to go Bye Bye.

  • Radical Captain Forrest Dunbar for Mayor…uhggg! Will Anchorage be worse off than having Mayor B?
    We will see

  • Dunbar, Eric Croft, or Bill Falsey are all liberal hacks and if any of them get elected it will be another disaster for Anchorage. Basically just more of the same iron-fisted, “we know what’s better for you than you” do bunk.

    Either Bill Evans, Dave Bronson or Mike Robbins would be a welcome change. I’m not sure which of those three would have a better chance of garnering the most votes. I just hope they don’t split the conservative votes between them and allow another flaming liberal into office.
    I’m still deeply traumatized by recalling those images of our disgraced mayors buttocks. And I’m not even a minor.

  • In 2014, moving the election to November was approved by the voters.
    In 2015, the Municipal Clerk and the Assembly repealed that ordinance (AO 2014-28), returning the election to April. The clerks office was instructed to explore voting by mail, and in 2015 the Assembly voted to go to the current vote by mail system. The public was not consulted. Thank Dick Traini, Paul Honeman and Patrick Flynn for this travesty.

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