In addition to preparing to pass an extreme ordinance requiring masking all of Anchorage for the remainder of 2021, the Anchorage Assembly has other things in mind to attack Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and his authority.
The Assembly will consider another ordinance that will force the mayor to subject his department head and other appointees for approval to the Assembly at the time of the Assembly’s choosing, rather than the mayor’s. Currently, appointees can be in “acting” positions for six months. The Assembly, in Ordinance AO 2021-92, says that some of the mayor’s appointees have been controversial and they want to get a chance to bounce them earlier, rather than later.
Former school principal Sami Graham was appointed by the mayor as the librarian for the city. When her appointment came up for confirmation, the leftist majority denied her the job because she doesn’t have a masters degree in library science. The mayor then appointed Judy Eledge to the position, and she has not come up for confirmation yet. Eledge doesn’t have a degree in library science, either.
The ordinance is a way for the Assembly to get rid of executives quickly. The Assembly is looking for ways to get the mayor angry, so that he’ll act out against them, setting up a recall against him.
Ordinance 2021-20 strips the Executive Branch of its authority over the meeting spaces of the Anchorage Assembly. The city charter puts the mayor in control of all operations and facilities. This ordinance will allow the Assembly to limit public access to Assembly meetings to any number it chooses, and to force those who are in public buildings to wear mask, distance, or adhere to other mandated Assembly behavior, even if the mayor has no such order in place for public buildings.
During the last regular Assembly meeting, the Assembly majority tried to replace Mayor Dave Bronson’s seating position and put Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar in his place, going so far as to replace the mayor’s placard with Dunbar’s placard. The Assembly tried to move the mayor to a seat that was unguarded by bulletproof Kevlar, and where the Assembly could look over his shoulder at his computer. They also sought to isolate him from his staff so he would have no easy way to check on issues during the meetings.
The three ordinances — universal masking, control over building space, and fast-paced executive confirmations — are part of an agenda tonight that is sure to bring out public comment and probably protesters. The meeting starts at 5 pm and runs until about midnight on the ground floor of the Loussac Library. Protesters are expected, many whom will be wearing red, Must Read Alaska has learned from Facebook groups.
The Anchorage Education Association, the teachers union that supports various mask mandates and supported Forrest Dunbar for mayor, is telling its supporters to wear purple.
The public hearings on these items may be so well-attended that action on any of them could take days. Must Read Alaska has learned the Assembly is planning to meet every day this week.