Breaking: Treasury wants to discuss Anchorage's planned use of CARES Act funds - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, September 19, 2020
HomePoliticsBreaking: Treasury wants to discuss Anchorage’s planned use of CARES Act funds

Breaking: Treasury wants to discuss Anchorage’s planned use of CARES Act funds

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has made an appointment with the Berkowitz Administration after receiving several confidential complaints about the Municipality of Anchorage’s use of CARES Act funds for purchasing housing and treatment centers for Anchorage’s street people.

The Berkowitz Administration is preparing to shove through a $22.5 million purchase of four buildings in Anchorage, and $21 million for first responders payroll reserve, which had already been budgeted in 2020.

Assembly member Jamie Allard has an amendment to strike the $21 million and instead make $18 million available for small businesses in the hospitality, tourism industry and small businesses.

$2.9 million would go for landlord and tenant relief, under the Allard plan, and $100,000 for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce to make up for the lost revenues from the Bear Paw Festival.

According to the Department of Treasury Inspector General, the feds have spoken with the State of Alaska and have set two options for meetings this week with municipal officials. Assembly members have been notified.

The meetings will take place either Wednesday or Thursday, but the Assembly is taking up the spending package on Tuesday.

This story is developing.

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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

  • This is good. Accountability for taxpayer funds is vital. I do not agree with Ms Allard earmarking $100,000 for the ER Chamber of Commerce.

    • I believe she is trying to help her community in Eagle River. The problem is, Anchorage doesn’t have any assembly members who have asked to help with any of our business’s or events. The Saturday Market has suffered unbearably, but no assembly member has stepped up to help any of the vendors. Our small business’s are suffering but there hasn’t been any ordinance to help them/us.

    • Neither do I. It is unfortunate Eagle River missed its annual event and the money coming through it. If Republicans want Democrats be more conservative, Republicans will have to lead by example.

    • I do! ER Bear Paw is a community staple. I don’t think it’s a misuse of funds to help with those costs.

  • FINALLY! button up, buttercup berkowitz…gonna be a rough ride for you!

  • Nice! Lets hope the Feds uphold the intent and rules for CARES use. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    • Excellent, hold little dictator accountable for his corrupt ideals. LOL

    • Great news for Anchorage tax payers!! Our very own Chicken little the sky is falling, And it’s all on you…

  • Hopefully they start a criminal investigation into Anchorage’s Tammany Hall.

  • Most of the media would sell their sisters rather than admit this but all Americans know that there would have been no accountability had Obama still been in the White House. We only read about Trump in the context of what he says and ‘tweets,’ but his calling the bureaucracy to task, requiring grantees to toe the mark, appointing judges using a diligence unprecedented in modern times, evaluating redundant and confusing environmental regulations, and continuing the drain the swamp go unrecognized. At least in this state we will see a clean Republican sweep so far as Washington, DC come November; Trump, Sullivan and Young.

  • Awesome! The FEDS should be alerted to the illegal use of CARES Act funds by the Mayor for purposes other than what it was appropriated for. Sheltering the homeless in AK is not the FEDS problem, nor is CARES Act funding the appropriate money to be used for doing so.

    I am a Budget Analyst in the DOD, and I can tell you that what the ANC Assembly and Mayor are trying to do is illegal.

    • The CARES Act does allow for reimbursement of temporary costs associated with caring for the homeless during the pandemic to assist in stopping the spread of the disease.

      Important to note, the term temporary shows up several times in the Act. Things like establishing the group shelter in the Sullivan Arena, a cost the city did not budget for is eligible for reimbursement under the act. Purchase of buildings is a permanent action, there is no definition of the term “temporary” that could possibly apply.

      And, I agree totally, what they plan on using the CARES Act funding for is a violation of the specific wording of the Act. It is an even more egregious violation of the intent.

  • And to think I voted for Allard. Silly me, won’t happen again.

    • That’s ok, we’ll be voting for her and so will all of our friends.

  • To the principles office you go Mister Berk……

  • Oh, this is about to get good! Hallelujah for the oversight and accountability that is finally catching up with our communist mayor.

  • My hope would be that they put an hold on his ability to touch the funds until a legal plan is in place to do so….

  • Awesome! Finally ….accountability!

    • Hopefully they give Berkowitz something to really cry about…

  • Please lock him up somewhere down in California.

  • What a scoop! Great job. Hmmm biggest state tv news source is silent.

  • Berkowitz chickens are coming home to roost. Karma.

    • Certain Alaska-based corporations and associations bristle with wealth and political might within our state. Perhaps they can contribute a couple dozen millions of cash to ameliorate the issues confronting our indigent population so public funds can be used for the betterment of the remaining 99.9 percent of residents.

  • The Bezerkowitz Administration is rife with fraud in the making and fraud in the factum. Another appeal to CARES Funds so the money can be redirected once received. Little Ethan should move in with the homeless, in a tent at one of the Camp Berkies, and see how these people choose to live. They don’t need new digs and three squares for free. They need to go to WORK. The ones that don’t want to work need to be rounded up and sent to Seward to repaint Spring Creek.

  • If I was Treasury, I would bring along a couple of sworn officers to convey the idea that the MOA should take this very seriously. And Treasury should take really, really good notes. The MOA should have legal counsel present.

  • **if** (and that’s a big if) the assembly is smart, they won’t go through with their plans right before this meeting. If they try and the feds slap them over misuse of funds, it will make it much worse.

    • The Assembly has not demonstrated any semblance of “smart” for the past several years. I have a feeling they will go ahead and pass the resolution, commit the city to using the CARES funding, and rely on the opinion of the City Attorney that everything is hunky dory.

      And… when they find out the Feds will not release the CARES Act funding to purchase the buildings, they will just stick the cost to the taxpayers, because the Mayor made a commitment.

      Let your Assembly member(s) know that it is unacceptable to vote on this resolution until after the Federal Government makes a determination on the validity of using funds for this purpose.

  • Hooray!

  • Great news! Maybe the Businesses of Anchorage won’t get the shaft after all, While the Mayor wastes the monies on crazy crap . He needs to be accountable . 🙌🏻

  • I wonder how many other people in Anchorage sent a contact message to AG Barr in the last week? About time Berkowitz gets the brakes put on his BS.

  • Well well.. isn’t this a welcome little turn. Let’s hope the Treasury has the right people in the meeting and they don’t get hoodwinked by our King. The emperor truly has no clothes. And compliance audits of anything they have oversight of should be quite uncomfy for our leftist leaders.

  • Berkowitz has already admitted to wanting to spend Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES) funds on a 15 year old Anchorage problem with homeless inebriates.. But we had no China virus 15 years ago. Misappropriations of federal funding seems to be a given with this moron and his cronies. He should go back to San Francisco where he came from. Alaskans don’t need this BS..

  • Suzanne Downing, you ROCK girl !!! Great story.

  • They should look at the money he has funneled to Catholic Charities, which is affiliated with his family.

    • Can you share more details? I was curious about the extra $200k bonus the Mayor requested for Brother Francis Shelter back in July because of their ‘permissive gender policy’. Sounded fishy.

  • It will be interesting to see how the voting goes tonight. Do the elected representatives in Anchorage know how to read? We will soon see.

  • The mayor and his Assembly are planning to use the money for their unpopular pet projects, rather than distribute it to the people and businesses it was meant for. Meanwhile they shut down small businesses and pick on their owners.
    Awful leadership, spectacularly awful.

  • They have money and their bills get paid and they don’t have to hear their family crying for something to eat or crying how hot it is outside with no where to stay. How can people play with other people life. They keep having meeting’s after meetings in cool building and eat while determine our lives.

  • This is about to get good! A possible huge win for the little guy!

  • Eaglexit is a the real deal for not being supported by the assembly what so ever. Time for detach 2 to tie the next and leave the municipality and become self governing.

    • I wonder why KTVA and KTUU don’t even mention this on their website? Thank god for Suzanne and Must Read Alaska!!

      • They too busy pushing the scamdemic.

  • If it is determine that Berkowitz Administration intended to misuse Care Act Funds perhaps the Federal Government should pull Care Act Funds.

  • Funny how all the communist news outlets in the state have shut their vile traps … They could care less about the plight of the small business in our state and it shows … Thank you Suzanne … your time is here. Love seeing you succeed… Support our small business in Alaska.

  • Their list of projects using CARES funding is long and most of it has nothing to do with the economic hardships suffered because of COVID. I hope the feds have a fine-toothed comb to go through the proposals.

  • The Feds should take that little bag of sh*t to court, find him both incompetent and in contempt and then force an end to his “leadership” prior to the end of his term.

    Toss the dork in the pokey for a bit.

    If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has made clear it’s that the US has a curiously high number of completely incompetent leadership at local levels. That should not go unnoticed and there most definitely should be some discipline associated with mean spirited incompetence, particularly in instances that usher in economic hardship to wide swaths of the populace by an individual that has at the same time provided self serving special consideration to their own business interests.

    That is criminal behavior.

    BTW, very nice reporting.

  • I’m so sick of this mayor he’s nothing but a crook just trying to further the wealth of him and his cronies

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