Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson today announced the leaders of his transition team: Former Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell and former State Rep. Larry Baker. Both men have served on the Anchorage Assembly and have extensive backgrounds in municipal and state government with Baker most recently serving as former Mayor Dan Sullivan’s chief of staff, and Campbell most recently serving as the President and CEO of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation.
A press conference held today in a Spenard neighborhood office building was the first since the election for Bronson, who won the mayor’s race over Forrest Dunbar in a tightly contested runoff. Bronson thanked Dunbar and his campaign and said many good discussions were launched as a result.
Bronson has set up six transition teams as he heads toward being sworn in on July 1: Policy, economic recovery, personnel and organizational structure, budget, public safety, and communications. He has not announced the members of the teams yet but plans to make those names known in coming days.
Bronson said in a handout document that he would look for a new police chief. The current Chief Kenneth McCoy has been in the lead position at the Anchorage Police Department since April 21, having been appointed by the acting mayor upon the resignation of former Chief Justin Doll. Bronson said he expects his public safety transition team to have a short list of candidates ready for him before July 1. He also detailed qualities he will look for in a fire chief.
One of his areas of focus will be to address vagrancy and homelessness, which have exploded in Anchorage over the past six years of the Berkowitz and Quinn-Davidson administrations. He didn’t say whether he would accept the current plan of purchasing the Alaska Club building on Tudor Road in Anchorage to house 125 homeless people, as planned by the Quinn-Davidson administration. He said it would be part of a comprehensive look at all options, with the understanding that many who are homeless have underlying issues. Addressing the vagrancy and homeless issue is “one of the top priorities of my administration,” he said.
His economic recovery team will be focused on short-term and long-term objectives, and reversing the decline of downtown Anchorage, which was vibrant before the Berkowitz Administration and the installation of Andrew Halcro as the head of downtown development.
His written summary of the transition team work ahead also mentions the Port of Alaska, and the need to expand and improve it, as it serves as a transportation link for much of Alaska.
Those with ideas for his administration or who are interested in serving in the Bronson Administration can find out more at his website.
Watch the press conference at this link: