Chess game continues: Assembly overrides mayor’s veto, and can now figure out how to remove the mayor

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Over the objections of three conservatives on the Anchorage Assembly, a mayoral veto was overridden on Monday, giving the Assembly the power to remove the mayor whenever it chooses, with the flimsiest of reasons.

Anchorage Ordinance 2022-60 gives the Assembly vast power, both overtly and implied, over the mayor, the ability to hold a knife over the mayor’s head by creating a pathway for the legislative body to remove him for what is a vaguely described “breach of public trust.” Their process for removing him makes the Assembly judge, jury, and prosecutor.

Assemblyman Randy Sulte argued against overriding the veto, saying that if recalls of mayors fail, and the Assembly acts to remove a mayor, then it would be the Assembly getting the “breach of the public trust” wrong.

“I have concerns about us being judge and jury about what is ‘breach of public trust.’ We may not be correct and the public may still trust that person and wish for that person to remain, even though we may feel otherwise,” he said.

Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant admitted in the meeting that the impetus for the ordinance was an incident that happened during a “wild” regular meeting of the Assembly in October, when the public was up in arms over the Assembly’s latest mask mandate.

“Many people ask ‘Why did you start this project?'” said Constant, the maker of the ordinance. “The day that I decided this project was essential was the day in October when a member of the Administration attempted to turn off the public feed. The second thing they did at that meeting was to dismiss security. And the third thing they did at that meeting was told APD [police] to stand down. And I witnessed the staff of this Administration rallying people in an angry crowd.”

An October, 2021 meeting of the Anchorage Assembly drew a crowd that upset Assemblyman Chris Constant, prompting him to draft an ordinance to allow the Assembly to remove the mayor. Here, they stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at the outset of the meeting.

Constant said the ordinance wasn’t meant to be used to prosecute a mayor for dropping a city-issued cell phone and breaking the screen. But rather it is for “a pattern of behavior that rises to the level of abuse, that regular people would look and ask, ‘How could this person do such a thing?’ That it’s unconscionable that that action should have taken place.”

The Monday meeting was a special meeting in a small room at City Hall, called only for the purpose of overriding the veto, and the meeting was just over a half an hour long. It was supposed to be broadcast live on YouTube, but the Assembly somehow cut the video feed, claimed technical difficulties and only posted a nearly unintelligible audio recording of the meeting instead, a breach of the public trust.

53 COMMENTS

    • I am one of the “ good” people of Anchorage !! What do you expect me to do ,start a revolution? Most “Good” people still feel it is important to follow the rule of law versus causing a bloody and destructive riot as we have seen in other cities these past few years. I am a believer that ‘ what comes around goes around’ and that the liberals on the assembly will be turned out some day. Until then I stand firmly with the mayor of my home city whom I gladly voted for along with the majority of other Anchorage residents !! And I will continue to believe that at least in a spiritual sense “ the battle belongs to the Lord”.

      • How is that working in SF? Portland? Seattle? New York?

        Classic example of why I piss so many of you off pointing out how lazy conservatives are. So many of you whine, but do NOTHING. Don’t even vote.

        BTW: God wants you to stop hiding behind Him and take responsibility in your own lives

      • 1. Bother to vote
        2. Get involved in your local school.
        3. Sue the pants gf them.
        4. Protest at their businesses, offices, ect. Take the battle to them.
        5. Shut down the city in peaceful protest.
        6. Find out what businesses they are involved in and don’t do business with them.
        7. Push yourself away from the keyboard and actually STAND.

        How are those for starters?

    • I have been there backing him up. This is nothing but mind games. Some of the Assembly members are scared. That is why they are doing what they are doing.

    • Sally Duncan, there are logical conflicts within your comment. Firstly, your phrasing could be misconstrued. Do you mean to say that all people in Anchorage are good? Or, does that adjective imply there is a bad component of people of Anchorage? If it refers to all Anchorage voters then you must acknowledge they also installed the assembly. As with all electorates, the people of Anchorage are getting what they chose.

    • So what’s your brilliant plan? Anchorage is full of good people but until we can convince them to VOTE nothing will change. The leftist majority on the Assembly won their seats with an average of 30% voter turnout, and they weren’t exactly landslide victories. They know that their agenda is not what the majority of Anchorage wants, but until the good people of this city decide to get off their butts and vote we will be at the mercy of the approximately 15% of the population who actually voted for these leftists. Many believe that the mail-in voting system is not honest, and quite frankly I agree, but what do you have to lose by voting? If conservatives double their turnout the left can’t cheat their way out of it.

  1. An overwhelming majority of Anchorage citizens in a supposedly nonpartisan election voted in favor of our current mayor—why do the tyrannical, emotionally charged 6 or 7 Asssmbly persons get to decide he isn’t fit for office! Is this city becoming a dictatorial government!!

    • An overwhelming majority is not winning by one percent.

      Mayor Bronson is our mayor, and there is no dispute of that fact, but to say he won by an overwhelming majority is flatly false.

      Bronson beat Dunbar 50.7% to 49.3%. Bronson received 45937 votes to Dunbar’s 44744 votes. That is just over one thousand. An overwhelming majority would be a 10 or 20 point victory not barely over one point

    • Let’s be honest, Bronson didn’t win with an “overwhelming majority” of the vote, just like the leftists on the Assembly didn’t win any of their elections with an “overwhelming majority” of the vote either. That being said I do believe that Anchorage is still a majority-conservative city, but conservatives have become disillusioned with the election process and many don’t bother voting.

      • There is suspicion that the voting process is and has been tampered with somehow in the past. It is possible the Mayor did win by a landslide. The voting system guards have been physically shoved aside now female pleasantries notwithstanding.

  2. Chess, you say?
    .
    Seems reasonable to expect the Municipal Attorney to file individual official misconduct complaints against culpable Assembly members under Title 11, Criminal Law, Chapter 11.56. Offenses Against Public Administration, Sec. 11.56.850. Official Misconduct:
    .
    “(a) A public servant commits the crime of official misconduct if, with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or deprive another person of a benefit, the public servant
    .
    (1) performs an act relating to the public servant’s office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of the public servant’s official functions, knowing that that act is unauthorized…
    .
    (b) Official misconduct is a class A misdemeanor.”
    .
    A class A misdemeanor in Alaska is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. (Alaska Stat. § § 12.55.035, 12.55.135.) (criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/alaska-misdemeanor-crimes-class-and-sentences.htm)
    .
    The “act” in question is the unauthorized removal of the mayor without voter approval, without regard for established separation-of-powers doctrine, overriding rights the municipal Charter grants exclusively to citizens in the Bill of Rights Article II: “…Among rights guaranteed by this Charter are: (1) The right of initiative; the right of referendum; and the right to recall public officers, as herein provided.”
    .
    Seems reasonable to expect the Municipal Attorney to file individual federal complaints against culpable Assembly members under 18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law which makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
    .
    Per Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts… “done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include… others who are acting as public officials”, i.e. Anchorage Assembly members.
    .
    Then there’s the question of civil lawsuits brought by the Municipality against culpable Assembly members to recover the Municipality’s litigation costs.
    .
    For starters.
    .
    Chess, you say? Check.

  3. Do you see bible’s wise
    words of proverbs playing out? why we should listen to proverbs after listening to
    constant’s explaining his
    reasoning behind his action.
    I see many proverbs, if followed, that could had deterred this plan of action. Now! Like a game, a move was made, and we learn
    to play with it. Gripping, cursing, and complaining by public won’t help nor would it
    won’t support mayor bronson nor support muni conservatives (democrat and republican,
    as charles colson pointed out where the two parties need go is move back to conservatism
    for america)

  4. The assembly breached the trust when they jettisoned the public opportunity to attend meetings during the respiratory season. They refused to hold a voting process thus disenfranching the west side. They refused to answer phone calls. They caused unprofessional harrassment of private businesses. They give no evidence of incorporating the US Constitution in this jurisdiction. The Mayor has an obligation to execute Anchorage’s will – not the will of “the body”. I would like to retire Robert’s Rules and instead use Mason’s Manual of Parliamentary Procedure since Alaska at statehood adopted it for all public meeting activity. A majority of states use Mason’s Manual. WA state uses Reeds which is archaic just like WA state who became a state much earlier. WA state Constitution is a mess. Jefferson’s Manual is used for rules for US Corporation Congress proceedings. Any elected government can use Mason’s. I urge the Mayor’s legal advisors to undertake a study. Roberts tends to elevate buffoonery but gives inadequate to no consideration to incorporating CONSTITUTIONAL guidance; thus Anchorage.

  5. To be sure the state legislature following Mason’s Procedure gallops artfully away from the US Constitution by gentle Alaskan non-threatening”tradition” thus annually putting Alaskans at risk of Constitutionally flawed legislation. Anchorage and Alaska as a whole gives the appearance of disapproving of nearly everything that made America 🇺🇸 a unique bastion of freedom and liberty through the application of Constitution principles. They are no longer championed here. This is not happenstance nor random but engineered offshore by foreign think tanks like World Economic Forum etc.

  6. Is it too much to ask that the assembly take a couple of months off of the butt stuff and homeless grifting to focus on the needs of the other 98% of the population? Asking as a taxpayer.

  7. And the Coop is complete.

    This is what 20% voter turnout gets you. Tyrannical rule by Bolshevik fanatics.

    You’ve had multiple opportunities to remove these fascists and got exactly one. The least offensive of the bunch.

    You stood by quietly while the Politburo destroyed local businesses, robbed you of you right to peacefully assemble (while exercising theirs), crushed the few who pushed back (Kriner), installed one illegal mayor, forced your kids to wear masks to get a substandard education, and so much more.

    You can’t claim to be surprised or outraged they are taking your right to vote. I wonder what they’ll come for next? Probably your kids.

    Congratulations Anchorage. You got the outcome you (didn’t bother to) worked for.

    And to Mr Porcaro. Please put a sock in your “this is not who we are” comment you love to make. Clearly, this is EXACTLY who Anchorage is.

    • Um… I have to agree.
      As much as I love Mike…
      He has his head buried up his behind.
      Look, it is his show.
      We are merely guest’s there.
      It is not a public forum.

  8. So sad, Alaska’s cities are falling. Alaska will be just like the other 3 west coast states. Heartbreaking to see this coming after witnessing what’s happened to the previous state I lived in, Washington. It fell the same way.

    • My Family were Pioneers in Washington.
      The Oregon Territory.
      My Great-great Grandmother was the first white girl born there.
      I know the entire State. Love it.
      I can never go back again.

    • Jefferson, yet the people of Anchorage keep voting them in…. and you keep referring to the symptom as if it were the actual problem.

  9. What chess game?
    In chess, one does not telegraph their next moves. It is about strategy and subterfuge. The Assembly is nothing but obvious.
    .
    The problem is the Mayor is expecting the Assembly to play fair.

  10. So this assembly believes they can actually make no new laws for their convenience, as they only site and follow the Anchorage Charter when it fits their agenda. This ordinance will be thrown out as soon as they try to use it. Sad sacks like Bill (loser) Falsy should be disbarred for ignorance and being a sore loser. I wonder if Bronson can remove these morons from the assembly for malfeasance too?

  11. Here’s an idea: How about the members of the Assembly and the Mayor focus on actually running the city instead of wasting so much time and effort trying to dominate each other?

    If it’s endless political war that interests them, then maybe they should run for the US Congress instead, where the sport is played on a professional level.

  12. And it will all be upheld by alaskas woke courts, even though the Anchorage Charter already has a way to impeach a mayor smh

  13. The peaceful solution would be a mass non-payment of property taxes. However, most people with mortgages have them automatically paid by the mortgage companies. And since only 20% seem to bother to vote, the only option is to assimilate or move. Outlying communities can attempt to separate from the municipality, but they will have a battle since most of the revenue to run Anchorage comes from these communities. Soon we will all be mandated to take Monkey Pox vaccinations and any remaining small businesses will be forced to close again. Bend over please.

  14. This idiocy will end up in court for sure. Definitely unconstitutional and their references of other communities that have this ability are set up with different forms of municipal hierarchy. Total BS smoke and mirrors by the assembly. The assembly majority has spent millions of taxpayer money enriching themselves and others the the taxpayers will have to pay back and THAT is a breach of the public trust.

  15. As in marketing, perception is King. While the Special Needs 9 purports that it is necessary to put this Ordinance on the books, the perception among those that support Mayor Bronson and, possibly, some free-thinking centrists, is that this is a not-so-veiled threat. A threat not only against Bronson and his administration but, against any dissenters that enter the Assembly chamber and dare contest ANY of decisions and mandates (as Trig so astutely mentioned) that Constant and Crew may enact. In essence, they’re absolving THEMSELVES of “a pattern of behavior that rises to the level of abuse” and/or a “breech of public trust”. They have deemed themselves infallible and the rest of us just not getting it.

  16. Message to the Assembly 9: Go ahead. make my day.

    The political world is a non-linear system. An action does not necessarily trigger an opposite or equal reaction. Just because you haven’t seen the appropriate reaction yet doesn’t mean it isn’t inbound.

    You clowns pull this particular trigger, and everything will change politically in this town. Maybe for a long, long time. Please, oh please, do it. Remove the Mayor. Cheers –

  17. The problem is that the Assembly thinks they are playing chess.
    Hey, we are playing checkers here.
    They outsmart themselves.
    3-D

    • 3rd floor. Loussac library. The complete anchorage muni charter sits next to magazine area for anyone’s reading whoever dares to read the mega volume. Not available for checkout. Reference only and in-library reading. I think our men should read it. The charter is large that understandably i think the assembly and bronson administration also never read the charter but rely on attorneys
      who would read it. The men they should read the charter for themselves, it’ll be a better time spent studying the charter instead of studying scantily dressed women or sports.

  18. “The day that I decided this project was essential was the day in October when a member of the Administration attempted to turn off the public feed. …….”

    The Monday meeting was a special meeting in a small room at City Hall, called only for the purpose of overriding the veto, and the meeting was just over a half an hour long. It was supposed to be broadcast live on YouTube, but the Assembly somehow cut the video feed, claimed technical difficulties and only posted a nearly unintelligible audio recording of the meeting instead, a breach of the public trust.

    Sounds like the Assembly members did the same thing …. cut the video feed but then claimed technical difficulties. Does this meeting not violate the open meetings act? I agree this is a complete breach of the public trust.

  19. I hope the Mayor has submitted a lawsuit the minute the veto was overruled. This is against the charter and must be challenged!

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