Berkowitz keeps emergency powers through July, but can't mandate face masks - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
HomePoliticsBerkowitz keeps emergency powers through July, but can’t mandate face masks

Berkowitz keeps emergency powers through July, but can’t mandate face masks

The Anchorage Assembly voted 9-2 on Tuesday night to allow Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to retain his emergency powers through July 31.

The powers allow him to move the municipal workforce around as needed, without having to get permission from the unions. It also allows him to keep homeless people housed in the Sullivan and Boeke Arenas, which are being used as temporary shelters during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

On 6-5 vote, the Assembly decided to not mandate face masks for workers during their hours of employment, a mandate requested by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.

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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

  • He can’t Constitutionally mandate mask wear any how.

    • Hi Steven, I would love it if that were the case. But I think that the emergency powers do allow him to. Do you have more info on this?

      • Muni Code 3.80.065 – Special powers during a state of public health emergency.

        Discusses public health emergencies, clears the path for him to do what he wants.

  • Someone please correct me if I’m wrong here… the vote on the face masks was the Assembly deciding whether it would recommend that the Mayor use his emergency powers to require face masks for employees. So they voted not to recommend that. But I believe that he still does have the power to mandate them if he wanted because he still has emergency powers. So if this is correct – the title for the article is not quite correct. He still could do it. But someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • He can try and mandate but he has no forcing tool. Emergency Order does not circumvent the Bill of Rights or the Constitution

  • Democrats are ruining this city, EagleExit can’t happen fast enough.

    • One would think that the democrats would get the hint when everyone wants to walk away from them. The problem is, CNN has been trusted as a centrist media for too long and so now people don’t realize how leftist all the media is these days.

  • Also I learned yesterday that some Assembly members said they think the Mayor will need to keep Emergency Powers until the end of the year! After his ask for powers to be extended until Nov 15 brought such an outcry – he was only given until June 5. So here I was thinking this was about to be over soon.

    But it appears now that he and the Assembly will get to Nov (or beyond!?) a few weeks at a time. Based on the reasons Assembly members are giving for why they think the Mayor’s powers should be extended… I don’t think they’ll EVER agree to stop extending his powers.

    They say they want to be ready ‘in case’ things pick up. Well, geez! If they do, then give him emergency powers again. But looking at the State’s DHSS Data for Anchorage that tracks from March 3 to June 2… a grand total of 22 people have been hospitalized in the 3 MONTHS Covid has been an issue. 4 people in Anchorage have passed away with Covid, but 2 of them were already on Hospice before they were tested.

    When the Mayor declared an emergency, it was because we were worried that our hospitals would be overrun and be in danger of collapsing. But we currently have more than 300 in-patient beds, 60+ ICU Beds, and and 170+ ventilators ready and waiting in Anchorage alone. If you go to the DHSS corona virus response hub, you see state wide numbers, but you can click on the little tab in the upper right corder to see data for specific areas.

    The flu doesn’t fully go away. Covid isn’t going away either. There will never be zero cases. So what does the Assembly need to see before they can say it’s not an emergency anymore? Even more empty hospital beds? More unused ventilators? Perhaps we should just crown the Mayor now!

    • From what I heard (third-hand from an Assembly member), Emergency Powers are being given and extended because that keeps FEMA funds flowing in.
      Follow the money.

      • MD, I also heard this from more than one Assembly member as well. And one of the Assembly members said that’s why the Mayor will ‘need’ to keep Emergency Powers ‘until the end of the year’. Yikes!

        Another Assembly member said that the Mayor needed to keep emergency powers to abate the homeless camps. I said that they’ve had 3 months to do just that, and haven’t done much about it! They ‘abated’ the camp at 3rd & Ingra – but I drove by -and the people there literally just moved across the street.

        Another Assembly member (you can see I’ve been busy contacting Assembly members! 🙂 – said that they needed to extend the Mayor’s emergency powers to be in line with state regulations. I said that that was not necessary, because we would already have to be in line with state regulations even without special action by the Mayor. No response to that item.

      • Muni Code 3.80.100 – Suspension of purchasing procedures during period of emergency.
        modified

        During An Emergency The Mayor And His Designee May Enter Into Contracts Deemed To Be Necessary And In The Public Interest Without Regard To Dollar Amount And Without Following Competitive Bidding Procedures Required By Title 7.
        (AO No. 79-153; AO No. 2020-34(S) , § 4, 3-24-20)

        Follow the money

  • Again, if you think the little fella will voluntarily cede any power, probably a belief in unicorns is not far away. As long as the leftist mayor has a leftist assembly to back him up, don’t get your hopes up, Anchorage. Maybe a little “head fake” here and there but the “authority” will stay with little Ethan, backed by ‘his’ assembly. Bet on it. It won’t necessarily be due to Wuhan v, either. “Emergencies” aplenty will be manufactured, if not real. Once they get a taste of power, look out anyone and everyone not allied to the leftist pipe dreams. You will likely be the next “emergency” for him and his.

  • Berkowitz will hold on to any power that can be bestowed upon him as long as “the people” allow it to happen. If the assembly keeps granting him “extensions” on his power grab, they may as well just have approved it through the end of the year to begin with. Suzy Homemaker said it in this thread: there will never be zero cases of this virus. As long as people exhale, we will have COVID-19, the flu, colds, etc. Time to face the music here. Either protect yourself if you are compromised and stay home, or let’s get on with our lives. The Emperor can look out over his subjects – and eventually they will all be gone…moved to Eagle River maybe when they Eagle-exit?

    • Muni Code 3.80.040 – Authority to issue emergency proclamation:
      Says he can do what he wants to do

      Muni Code 3.80.065 – Special powers during a state of public health emergency.
      Discusses public health emergencies, once again clears the path for him to do what he wants.

      Maybe this is the big one: no bidding or spending limits

      Muni Code 3.80.100 – Suspension of purchasing procedures during period of emergency.
      modified

      SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
      During An Emergency The Mayor And His Designee May Enter Into Contracts Deemed To Be Necessary And In The Public Interest Without Regard To Dollar Amount And Without Following Competitive Bidding Procedures Required By Title 7.

      (AO No. 79-153; AO No. 2020-34(S) , § 4, 3-24-20)

  • Muni Code 3.80.100 – Suspension of purchasing procedures during period of emergency.
    modified
    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    During an emergency the mayor and his designee may enter into contracts deemed to be necessary and in the public interest without regard to dollar amount and without following competitive bidding procedures required by title 7.

    (AO No. 79-153; AO No. 2020-34(S) , § 4, 3-24-20)

  • The little communist needs to be put in his place. He is not the POTUS, not the Governor. It’s sad to watch as the people of Anchorage do not revolt against this with their elected public servants. The voter is the employer, these clowns are our employees. I for one will not adhere to anything this donkey try’s to force on us. This is unconstitutional and will be defeated in any court. It’s up to the employers, voters to act make this stop by contacting your local assembly person to stop this. Make your voice heard, all elected, municipal and state employees are accountable to the citizens. Stand up for your rights, we are the authority, not them.

  • Ethan Berkowitz’s mayoral term ends Spring 2021…..

  • De Blasio Del Norte

  • If you think it’s bad now–
    Watch out..Forrest Dunbar, a major left wing radical liberal, will be our next mayor…..and Mayor Berkowitz will be Alaska’s next governor.

  • I will not engage in an establishment that don’t require a mask

    • Okay.

  • Keep wearing your masks and hiding at home, you are lowering your immunity system, thus making yourself more at risk to catch whatever is floating in the air.

  • I am dissing everyone’s comments. Mayor Berkowitz has a heart. He WANTED to be be Mayor. It’s a tough job. And as tough as critics are, they cannot measure up to Berkowitz’ strength.!We do not want more covid illness. Thank you Mayor Berkowitz. This is not political. Alaska is very delicate. We have over 700,000 reasons to keep the state clean. Again, thank you Mayor Betkowitz for your strength. I will not allow a journalist to promote breakdown in our strength!!!!
    ( Suzanne)

    • Please explain to us how this article “promotes breakdown in our strength”.

  • Phil, ( I will attempt to use your style of writing. )

    The essential businesses will survive.

    Next:

    Survivors of the pandemic ( many of us we don’t even get the virus) . I have a very high count of absolute neutrophils
    ( my count is 4921) I will survive this pandemic. Please check your your regular blood tests. You may also have a very high count. Nevertheless I have practiced social distancing for 3 1/2 months)

    Next:

    This state rates highest in crime and lowest in academic test scores.

    Next:

    This Mayor and this governor will be damned if they have the highest count per capita of Covid virus.

    Next:

    You ask how the journalist who sticks her neck out every single day, might be fanning the flames….? Here’s how journalists do that. They fan the flames of unrest. They too, have to make a living. We need Suzanne Downing dearly. But she is a journalist! She must keep the conversation going.

    Next:

    We just made a trip to Valdez. All essential businesses are open, but the streets are empty, including the camper parks. Valdez is definitely practicing social distancing. Their economy is very low. But it will return.

    I wish you well with UNICO, hoping for your contracts.

    I too am out of business for this season. I have an art business. But we survive at the graces of previous lobbyists who ensured a decent retirement for state employees. We worked hard. I now ( for 26 years) have the luxury of a private business with a pension included, and those of us retirees who stayed in this state are spending our pension on essential businesses. We contribute to the state economy.

    For you, might makes right, but do get on the productive side of Alaska’s future. I never did know what UNICO does. Get your name out there. Show us how you are essential. There’s your future.

    • I get it – “essential” is good; “non-essential” is bad. If you just so happen to not have a cushy Tier 1 retirement and your small business is deemed “non-essential” then its okay if they fail resulting in bankruptcy. I’m sure in your narrow view those once business owners could just get jobs; ones that more than likely pay much less.

  • The mayor does not care. Notice how only his and his friends businesses are considered essential? Good luck wearing a mask. Get out in the fresh air and take that diaper off your face and let your immune system grow. BTW Ethan was a hack legislator before mayor, with sights on the governors office. You think people are abandoning this state now, wait till they impose a income tax. Hello, the theft of the people’s royalties without budget cuts should be an eye opener.

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