Chris Constant maneuvers to advance question on divorce with Chugiak-Eagle River - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, January 28, 2022
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Chris Constant maneuvers to advance question on divorce with Chugiak-Eagle River

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It’s the Anchorage Assembly version of, “You can’t break up with me. I’m breaking up with you.”

Assemblyman Chris Constant didn’t want the two conservative Chugiak-Eagle River Assemblywomen, who were exploring an Eagle River separation question for the April ballot, to get ahead of him this week.

Instead of waiting for the Assembly Attorney Dean Gates to finish work on a resolution already being crafted by Assemblywomen Crystal Kennedy and Jamie Allard, Assemblyman Constant, who represents downtown Anchorage, got Gates busy on his own alternative ordinance. Constant then announced he would have it ready for the Jan. 11 regular Assembly meeting.

It appears the Department of Law or Assembly Attorney Dean Gates may have slipped the information about what he was working on for Kennedy and Allard to Constant, and Constant quickly got busy on his own version, which would have the entire Anchorage Bowl weigh in, rather than just Eagle River, Chugiak and Eklutna. Constant even got it on the same agenda as the two women’s draft ordinance, and made sure an ordinance number was assigned to it.

Constant is offering AO-14, an advisory vote, he first announced on social media last week.

Constant’s proposal would not include Joint Base Elmendor-Richardson in the breakup. JBER would stay with Anchorage.

Separately, the Chugiak-Eagle River Assemblywomen are presenting the proposal they have been working on, which only has the voters of the Chugiak-Eagle River area voting on the matter. The question would ask voters if they want a research and study on the possibility of separating from Anchorage for the purpose of creating a separate governmental unit.

It’s unclear why Anchorage Assembly’s attorney Gates didn’t advise Kennedy and Allard that a competing proposal was in the offing. He does, however, know who sugars his toast on the Assembly — it’s the liberal faction. Kennedy and Allard are the loyal opposition to what conservatives call the Marxist Nine — Constant and Assembly members Suzanne LaFrance, Forrest Dunbar, Austin Quinn-Davidson, Pete Petersen, John Weddleton, Cameron Perez-Verdia, Felix Rivera, and Meg Zalatel.

The Kennedy-Allard proposal has not yet been given an ordinance number on Tuesday’s agenda.

The Eagle River area, including Birchwood, Eklutna, Peters Creek, and Chugiak, voted to incorporate separately in 1974, but the laws determining the new municipality were found unconstitutional, and so the area was soon reincorporated back into Anchorage.

But a group called EagleExit has rekindled interest in separating, and has been meeting and studying the issue for many months.

Both the Constant proposal, above, and the Kennedy-Allard proposal, below, would have advisory votes on the April ballot. But in Constant’s proposal, the entire municipality would vote, while in the Kennedy-Allard proposal, the matter would only be put to those in the Assembly District 2 area.

As vice chair of the leftist Assembly, Constant’s proposal is more likely to advance with the support of his left-leaning colleagues. Only Kennedy and Allard are considered conservatives on the Anchorage Assembly, and with a competing proposal now offered from the vice chair, their draft ordinance is likely to be cast aside.

Opponents of the exit of Eagle River say that a 2007 study shows the new governmental unit could not provide the same level of services as Anchorage now does. But since 2007, the Eagle River tax base has grown by leaps and bounds as population trends moved people further outside of Anchorage proper and into Eagle River, Peters Creek, Chugiak, Birchwood, and to the Mat-Su Borough.

“The question of whether the Chugiak-Eagle River area should be part of the Municipality of Anchorage has been a contentious issue for decades.  In 1969 the idea to consolidate the Anchorage Borough with the City of Anchorage took root.  The very next year Chugiak-Eagle River residents overwhelmingly voted against consolidating with the City of Anchorage, confirming their desire for local control over matters relating to the Chugiak-Eagle River area,” wrote Craig Campbell, who has been promoting the exit of Eagle River.

“As written by the late Lee Jordan in the November 3, 2016 edition of Echo Magazine ‘Against their will, Chugiak-Eagle River became part of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough (GAAB).’  During formation of the MOA, which combined the City of Anchorage with the GAAB, Chugiak-Eagle River residents again attempted to break from Anchorage by establishing the Chugiak-Eagle River Borough in 1974.  Lee Jordan was elected as the first Mayor, while seven borough assembly members and five school board members were also elected, Campbell recalled.

“Formation of the new Borough was objected to by some.  As is the American tradition, a lawsuit was filed to reverse the vote of the people.  On April 15, 1975 the Alaska Supreme Court found that the legislation which allowed for the secession election ‘was unconstitutional,’  But it wasn’t!  I share this history to remind everyone that the idea of a separate Chugiak-Eagle River Borough is not a new concept, but one that has been strongly advocated since statehood,” Campbell continued.

“Regretfully, a chasm between the values of Anchorage and those of Chugiak-Eagle River (Assembly District 2) has grown over the past 15 to 20 years and the belief that both areas still share the same vision of local government no longer exists.  Today, the only two conservatives on the Assembly are from District 2. With virtually no allies on the Assembly, they are hand-tied to influence decisions being made in Anchorage that almost solely benefit Anchorage and not the citizens of District 2.  Recent actions of Mayor Berkowitz and the Anchorage Assembly confirm to me that the direction Anchorage is heading (more government control over people’s lives with higher taxes and a larger bureaucracy) is not the direction we want for District 2,” Campbell said. “So I ask, if not now, when?  The economics support our independence so we should take this opportunity to support EagleExit, take back our government and form our own Borough.”

The Anchorage Assembly meets on Jan. 11, starting at 5 pm in the ground floor meeting room of the Loussac Library.

Constant is known for tactics to move himself ahead of Assemblywoman Jamie Allard and to sideline her. In May, when it became evident that his chosen candidate for mayor, Forrest Dunbar, was likely to lose, he was caught on a hot mic explaining that he wanted to cancel the city’s mask mandate before Allard could offer the same suggestion.

“I just didn’t want to give Jamie the power,” he was heard explaining while his mic was still on.

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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

  • The Assembly will never allow their cash cow to leave.

    • Then we in Chugiak and Eagle River secede without their blessing!
      .
      A property tax rebellion among Eagle River and Chugiak residents, as just one potential example, will make them see the light. I hope it actually comes down to something like that.

    • I so agree with you Masked Avenger. This assembly is so short sighted.

  • De-unification, in psychological terms alone, represents a separation of will and presence from a perceived, or real, threat of coercive inclusion. This is the aim of the Democrat Party, aspiring to force out competition and threat to their singular goal of total political unification. There are terms of art and political regimes which can be used to describe it’s function:
    .
    New World Order. Totalitarianism. Communism. Tyrany.
    .
    And the inescapable results:
    .
    Despots. Mass deaths. No liberty. Closed societies. Pain. Low self-esteem. Failure of creativity. Loathing. Failure of humanitarianism.
    .
    Interesting how Democrats pursue the worst traits of men and women.

    • Dan: What is with the far right? You exaggerate to the point of absurdity. It doesn’t advance your interests.

      • Evan, you keep saying this, and you keep being wrong.
        Instead of having a blinkered focus on only what is right in front of your face at the moment, why can you not try to see the statist direction, the TREND, in which politics is moving in Anchorage? No, it is not (quite) totalitarianism … yet, but that is where we are heading.
        .
        Aside from that, this disingenuous and idiotic move by Chrissy Constant is pointless, as ONLY the residents of Eagle River and Chugiak have any say in the potential secession of our districts from the People’s Republic of Anchorage. The rest of the residents of Anchorage have no legal say in the matter, and can go suck an egg.
        .
        PS: Thank you, Suzanne, on picking up on my oft-used phrase “The Marxist Nine”. I am honored, and please use it as much as you wish!

      • “ far right “……….. so original. You come up with that yourself?
        ( no need to answer that. It’s quite obvious)

      • All about Control and Domination. That IS their objective. Dr. Dan has it correct.

        • Lakreesha, it’s often referred to as “mass formation psychosis,” a term that describes how large numbers of people are controlled and manipulated by fear. Democrats frequently use this method amongst their own. With the assistance of mainstream media, it is routinely projected unto all Americans. However, a very large number of resisters, mostly Republicans, conservatives, Libertarians, and Trump supporters, do not feed into this fear frenzy. Subsequently, we have a very divided country. About 50/50.

      • Evan you need to take off the blinders or move to California where your ideas would fit right in.

      • Not really, notice the amending of public comment rules at the assembly meetings.

  • He just has to be number one. What a horses rear. Can’t get enough has to be in the spotlight. I hope it comes back to bite him.

  • Nothing new to see here. In the 90s, portions of the Anchorage Upper Hillside were served by the Troopers (the only law enforcement at the time with four wheel drive). The MOA wanted to increase their tax base, so they put up a vote (only for the residents in the effected area) to see if we wanted it. It was voted down – we were happy with the troopers.

    Next election, it was on the ballot city-wide, and it passed. No surprise there.

    Let’s let Eagle River decide if they want to be part of the MOA. That only seems right.

  • It’s a very clear illustration of how much the Politburo actually values “democracy”.
    Let the people vote-the way we want them to.

  • He is such a card…

    • Yes, one of the 2 cards that I through out from my deck.

    • Indeed. A joker.

      • Actually, he is a joker AND a deuce. And a queen!
        .
        But he believes himself to be a king.

        • Haha! Nice.
          .
          Heavy on the deuce.

          • Toe-tapping between queens during an Assembly meeting should be in violation of the rules. Get a cellphone, Constant……
            .
            ……..and a room.

  • Keep in mind that without the votes from Eagle River and Chugiak, Dave Bronson would never have been elected Mayor. Separation of Eagle River and Chugiak may be good for those areas but it would guarantee that the remaining part of Anchorage would be turned into Portland. Or Havana.

    • Yes, totally. Although Anchorage is more purple then the assembly represents, partly because conservatives just don’t want get into local politics like the left does. More importantly, at this point who in their right mind would want to wrestle with these pigs that are greased with ADN and Alaska Public Media being on their side and no qualms about being complete hypocrites and slime balls because they have zero shame or self awareness in how they treat conservatives. So if I had to guess, the assembly will do more things to make Anchorage seem more and more liberal friendly until we have Austin, TX that becomes a pocket of California problems and we’ll all move out to the “hill country” that is Eagle River and beyond. I don’t have an answer, but I do think the people of Eagle River deserve better. For that matter, so do the people of Girdwood.

  • Clown shoes!

  • There’s always a way to get the necessary bits done without waiting for the Assembly to make it appear to have been their own leadership and idea. E/R needs to be proactive; make it happen while avoiding the Constant childish antics.

  • I see any vote to be taken should only appear on an eagleriver resident ballot. This is more their choice than mine. They voted long ago to join when anchorage was forming as a muncipality. This should be sorely eaglerivers choice, and anchorage accept it. I think constant asking of us to be a busy body encouraging me poking my nose where it doesn’t belong by voting for someone from either ally or enemy postion. What does my opinion count to a community 10 miles away mean to them?

  • I’m so glad I sold my house. This city government with the exception of the mayor and Allard are complete lunatics.

  • Constance is a weasel….again.
    Chugiak/Eagle River should sue to have the advisory vote put on the April Ballot for only the Chugiak/Eagle River residents to vote on separation from the MOA. Why wait for a predictable outcome from the corrupt assembly.

  • Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. He believes what he says. HE doesn’t “want to GIVE Jamie “the power”. God gave Jamie the same amount of power as he gave what’s his name. Believe that for a minute.

  • Every time I see a report on the state of Anchorage it makes me glad I moved to Juneau.
    Juneau may be a wannabe Soviet republic, but it has the luxury of being a small town. IE, the Assembly can’t hide from their neighbors like they can in Anchorage.
    But either way, Alaska has gone socialist. Only question is full Washington or semi sane Maine

  • Sadly, anyone would have to be nuts to not support the concept of exiting the MOA (so it’s doomed, right). As to whether not the terms of an actual deal make sense is TBD. It is completely nonbinding to nobody. I want a trillion dollars of that trade! It is not very often that residents of anywhere on the planet get a free option to consider better governance scenarios. If nothing else, at a macro level, EaglExit has and will continue to cause citizens in the EaglExit boundary to be better informed and engaged.

  • FCC, and I’m not talking about communication

  • In my opinion, this could easily backfire on Mr. Constant. From my experience (and if the ADN is any indication) there are plenty of residents in Anchorage, who would like to see their “less enlightened brethren to the north” be gone. A decisive vote to kick ER et al out of the Muni, would put Jamie Allard, Crystal Kennedy and Michael Tavoliero in the drivers seat.
    “So you want us gone? Make it worth our while”
    He should have let Jamie’s plan stand and not meddle, but it appears he would like to hang on to JBER and the revenue the Muni receives in lieu of property tax, in his mind setting ER up to fail financially. As a bonus he gets to add all these military folks to his district.

  • My problem with these articles are that they are opinion pieces and not news stories. Suzanne Downing has a well-considered opinion story, but it really should be listed as an editorial and not as news. Slanted journalism and labeling is much better suited for Facebook than for a news organization, unless it is clearly presented as opinion.

  • The problem is that Allard and Kennedy are morons and they can’t write a ordinance. The idea that Jber would go to ER is asinine. I believe most of Anchorage would love not to be associated with ER. Get smarter representation and things might get better

    • Ah what an eloquent and restrained opening argument……not!
      EaglExit was always predicated on District 2 voting lines, which not only include JBER but also some of Muldoon, if memory serves. We actually have very smart representation in people who think for themselves, actually represent us and don’t follow the Marxist group think going on in the rest of the bowl!

    • Did you see the gibberish the eight James Madison-wanna-bees “wrote” last night at quarter to midnight? I Was laughing so hard. Go ahead and toss the US Constitution. It’s not as easy as it looks. A HA Ha HA!!

    • Allard and Kennedy represent those of us in district 2, we elected them for a reason and they are doing their job well. The other 9 in the assembly are the very reason we want out of the AM, you do nothing but take our tax money from us and we get very little in return. You worry about Anchorage and we’ll worry about district 2.

  • Put the shoe on the other foot and see what happens. Let’s let ER, Birchwood, Chugiak and Girdwood dictate the what’s and the how’s of local government for Anchorage without providing the same level of services. Let’s let them set tax rates and rules for Anchorage, then use all the tax proceeds in the outlying areas. Let’s let the real issues of living in these outlying areas be the only focus of ridiculously expensive plans and programs that have NO effect on Anchorage residents WHILE they are paying for it. See how that would fly… Just imagine the full crescendo squeal coming from the deviant Marxists then. They would simply come unhinged. Yet that is precisely what they do to the outlying areas of the “Municipality”.
    It is so typical of the deviant left to have that sort of narcissistic attitude when dealing with others, so long as the same doesn’t affect them. Remember their mantra: It’s for thee, not me as they rain their edicts down on the unwashed masses.
    Unfortunately, this is yet another “fill-in-the-blank” issue with the deviant left. The same is true to the highest level of government so not really be a surprise to see Constance take another swing at a Conservative who is speaking loudly for her constituents. Constance lives by the rule “Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you”.
    If the deviants and Marxists that constitute the Anchorage assembly majority strike first, then they control the narrative.
    This issue represents yet another in a long list of misses by the Conservatives. We still trust, we still follow the rules, and we still expect the rules to be followed and fully expect the existing laws to be enforced…they don’t. They work tirelessly to circumvent, evade, elude, ignore or simply avoid the rules and when that fails, simply change the rules during the game to favor their agenda.
    The only answer here is to let your voices be heard, peacefully and patriotically, then VOTE THEM OUT at the first opportunity.

    • Justin, I am afraid that the time has long passed for voting to be able to remedy the situation.
      It is now time for secession and open rebellion. Peaceful rebellion, but rebellion nonetheless. How about we in Eagle River and Chugiak start organizing a property tax revolt against the muni? THAT will get their attention!
      The time for half measures is over.

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