By CRAIG E. CAMPBELL
You might at first think Caretaker Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson is showing compassion in her announcement today to provide food vouchers to those in our community who are struggling because of the China virus.
It’s a trap.
People are suffering because of her draconian measures. If she cared one iota about people, Quinn-Davidson would not be shutting down businesses left and right, forcing people into poverty and unemployment, thereby creating a need for this hand-out. AQD’s “compassionate” gesture to offer food vouchers to those she put out of work is sinful.
Anchorage is no longer a business friendly city. The crazy caretaker mayor has let power get into her head. Some might say she is “drunk on power.” Close this, limit that, hand out money, and send out the Gestapo enforcement officers to ensure compliance with her unlawful emergency order mandates.
Do as I say, or else! Or else what AQD? You were never elected mayor by the voters of Anchorage. You’re just a lawyer from California, with no executive experience in your background. We do not want your Californification of Anchorage.
You’re a joke, a really bad joke that is killing our city and implementing socialist governance without the will of the people. Did you look out your window today? I saw on flyer that a group was outside City Hall letting you know we are fed up with you destroying our city. Are you trying to ignite a revolution?
Your overreaction to the China virus is straight out of the Marxist doctrine of creating panic in the people through your extraordinary illegal mandates and snuffing out small businesses.
Then you provide government-issued food vouchers to create more dependency on government. Unbelievable, but what else would you expect from one of our Leftist assembly members who is serving out the term of disgraced Mayor Ethan Berkowitz?
Let’s not forget, an emergency order is for a short term crisis that requires immediate action. It was never intended to be a management tool for government to use for the implementation of socialism.
The China virus is no longer an emergency. We know what it is; we know who it infects; we know the recovery rate; we know the death rate; we know the drug therapies to manage the sickness; we know the basic steps to avoid infection (masks, social distancing, wash your hands); and we have reliable testing sites across the city to help confirm people who have the symptoms.
With all this information, the medical response is manageable. When it is projected that more ICU beds are needed, we can expand capacity. I seem to recall this past March, Gov. Mike Dunleavy converted the Alaska Airlines Center, adjacent to Providence Hospital, into a temporary medical facility for up to 150 beds.
“When our local hospitals experience an overwhelming surge of patients as a result of COVID-19, we need decompression plans like an alternate care site at the ready,” said Anchorage Health Department Director Natasha Pineda at that time.
Stop the drama. Manage this pandemic using the resources available to you from the local, state, and federal governments. Stop killing Anchorage, or would that be counter to your intended objective of a more socialistic city, modeled in the vision of that wacko New York congressional representative AOC?
Here’s an alternate plan. Stop building useless multi-million dollar trails and “quality of life” projects with CARES Act money and direct that funding to helping small business stay in business and hiring folks.
Use CARES Act moneys to provide the projected medical facilities needed for the surge we are experiencing, like reopening the Alaska Airlines Center and purchasing additional personal protective equipment, ventilators, and support equipment. Be prepared, not reactionary.
Accept the $20.0 Million in CARES Act funds being sent by Gov. Dunleavy and invest every penny into business enhancement programs to fund renovations, expansions, and interior modifications to make establishments better able to accommodate customers under the new normal of social distancing.
Stop wasting CARES Act funds on unnecessary homeless services, like buying the Best Western Golden Lion Hotel. Austin Quinn-Davidson, you have not closed the deal yet. It’s not too late to correct this flagrantly illegal purchase process. Use these funds to make a real difference by creating a comprehensive living and rehabilitation facility at one of the currently vacant big box stores. We have quite a few already available.
It’s almost hard to believe the damage you have inflicted on Anchorage in just one month as our caretaker mayor. Your feckless decisions are having an impact on our city, and it’s not good. I know you probably feel pretty important, sitting there on the eight floor of City Hall with an assembly that will do as you want. But maybe it’s time to start doing what the people want.
Scaring people with pandemic lies and killing our economy with draconian mandates is not what we want. You have time to change course, but not much time.
It’s time to get a grip on reality. Business are failing every day, so time is of the essence for you to start implementing policies that reverse this trend, support our civil liberties, and keeps Anchorage from economic ruin.
Craig E. Campbell served on the Anchorage Assembly between 1986 and 1995 and later as Alaska’s Tenth Lieutenant Governor. He was the previous Chief Executive Officer and President for Alaska Aerospace Corporation. He retired from the Alaska National Guard as Lieutenant General (AKNG) and holds the concurrent retired Federal rank of Major General (USAF).