The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution thanking former Police Chief Justin Doll. They passed another one thanking former Fire Chief Jodie Hettrick. They thanked Robin Ward, the manager of the Heritage Land Bank. All were retiring with the changing of the guard in Anchorage, as incoming Mayor Dave Bronson takes the reins. All of those resolutions were in the Assembly meeting packet.
But then there was the unnumbered resolution, slipped in at the last minute.
The Anchorage Assembly didn’t put it on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. And neither the members nor the Municipal Clerk included the flowery resolution in the meeting packet available online. It was a secret.
The public sitting in the audience never saw it coming, wasn’t prepared to give public testimony about whether it was appropriate, or even put up more than a rather solitary “boo.” The public cannot even see a copy of this particular resolution because it’s still invisible. You can hear it read aloud by Assemblyman Chris Constant below.
The unannounced, but carefully planned glowing endorsement of former disgraced Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson was read into the record and approved as a resolution.
Berkowitz resigned in October after a scandal involving a former news anchor and some nude selfies. Quinn-Davidson, who was Assembly chair, took over as mayor and served for eight months. During their combined reign, Anchorage slipped into an economic spiral that is still impacting the community today. The Assembly’s Leftist majority, led by then Acting Chair Felix Rivera, blocked election for a new mayor and instead, Anchorage lived under an acting mayor, an acting Assembly chair, and a vacant Assembly seat for eight months.
The Assembly, in its recognition of the Berkowitz-Quinn-Davidson era didn’t give each of them their own recognition, but combined the resolution into one laudatory summation of all the good things that Berkowitz and Quinn-Davidson had done for Anchorage, as though they were one administration.
Quinn-Davidson stepped to the podium to accept. For the first time in over 10 months, the plexiglas sneeze barrier that the Assembly had put in front of the podium was gone, and Quinn Davidson was there to receive the thanks of her colleagues on the Assembly, where she will return to her unfilled seat.
Assemblyman Constant had to remind the audience that it was inappropriate to boo as he read the long list of accomplishments ascribed to the two mayors. At the end of the presentation, there was polite applause from mainly the staff in attendance.