Dave Donley continues one-man battle on Anchorage School Board



Dave Donley is in an unenviable position, and Tuesday’s Board meeting exemplified that. As the only conservative member on the seven-member Anchorage School Board, he is almost always alone in his efforts to bring common sense to an organization that can never seem to find enough money to spend or union leaders to placate.

During a Nov. 21 board meeting, Donley proposed two amendments that were not seconded and, therefore, not brought to a vote. When reviewing the minutes of that meeting, he noticed that his proposed amendments were not even entered into the official written record, so he inquired of the Board secretary as to the reason for the omissions. Her response was that proposed amendments that fail to get seconded are not reflected in the minutes.

With a desire to maintain the District’s core principle of transparency, and with a firm belief that all substantive amendments should be in the record, he requested that the minutes be tabled so the Board secretary could put them into the record.

That idea didn’t go over so well with President Margo Bellamy or the rest of the Board and, in a twist of great irony, his motion to table the minutes was not seconded; therefore, neither it nor the discussion of the topic would be entered into the minutes of this Dec. 19 meeting. Donley found humor in that fact and was able to joke about it to eternally-opposed colleagues, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t find the whole matter aggravating and just plain wrong.

Tuesday’s discussion contained an often disorientingamalgamation of the words “minutes, amendments, and motions,” and all members, regardless of their placement on the political spectrum, deserve credit for keeping it all straight and somewhat understandable. Dave kept his cool and his manners in check, and for that he is to be commended.

Truthfully, he is to be commended for much of what he does,particularly being willing to run for an office in which he knows he will be outnumbered and then standing up for what he believes in while being constantly being isolated (at best) or ignored and attacked (at worst). 

What concerns Dave is the fact that substantive matters of discussion will not be a matter of record, and with important and difficult budget decisions looming on the horizon, Board members can more easily hide their opinions and votes – or, more appropriately, their decisions not to vote – from the official record. If he proposes an amendment that would curtail spending, rankle the teachers’ union, or more likely both, then a simple collective act of not seconding his amendment will be hidden.

President Bellamy and member Carl Jacobs brought up the fact that all Board meetings are videorecorded and available via the District’s website. True enough, and if an interested citizen has the time to search through a couple hours of titillating school board discussions, then that hardy individual will be rewarded with video clip; but the discussion and decision not to second the motion will not be in an official written record.

Dave Donley wants the public to understand the process the Board undergoes, and he wants the members’ words and decisions to be on the record, and for them to be held accountable. He also needs to know he is not alone in his efforts to bring sanity and integrity to the Anchorage School Board. If you appreciate his work, let him know and help him out: attend meetings, speak up, and elect good people to the School Board. 

Tim Barto is vice president of Alaska Family Council and a regular contributor to Must Read Alaska.


  1. Absolutely despicable cover up behavior on the part of this School Board. They do it to hide the fact they are plundering Anchorage citizens of money near the highest costs per pupil in the U.S. but not educating them…deplorable math and test scores near the bottom in the country.

  2. Dave Donley is the only member with real brainpower and logic on the school board. The rest of the “gang” are feeblings who drank the Marxist kool-aide and forgot what “reason” even means.
    We love you, Dave.

  3. At some point Donley needs to ask himself if it’s worth it. His position has evolved from principled opposition to the class definition of insanity.

  4. Keep up the good fight, Mr. Donley. You are appreciated here in Anchortown, although not enough of our tribe are getting out to vote.

    And thank you, Mr. Barto, for writing this column. Your final sentence offers a challenge to good citizenship for each of us.

  5. “As the only conservative member on the seven-member Anchorage School Board, he is almost always alone in his efforts to bring common sense to an organization that can never seem to find enough money to spend or union leaders to placate.”

    What a whopper! – Get rid of them all! It isn’t going to happen in a just world. He seems to play the role of the lone dissenter in this sad comedy. Meanwhile, property taxpayers, hold on to your wallets and VOTE!

  6. I am happy for the one voice we have.
    Dave thank you for your common sense and honest voice you bring to the table.

  7. I believe that every amendment brought to the school board meeting table should be written in the minutes. Otherwise there is no transparency in the district. I thank and encourage Dave Donley for more detail like this.

  8. Amen Tim. The picture at the head of the article is revealing of the toll Gentleman Dave Donley is paying for being the only conservative on an alt-left school board – compared to when I first met him seven years ago he has aged considerably. Pray for him. Support him any way you can. And get out and vote for conservatives in all elections you are eligible to vote in – and drag your reluctant neighbor to vote with you.

    • Rich, I have noticed the same things regarding Dave Donley as well.

      I hope that his noticeable aging in the last few years is not due to him having taken the mRNA clot shots; I have seen that same effect in many of the Branch Covidians who did ignorantly and foolishly take the unsafe, ineffective and experimental gene therapies.

  9. Dave Donley is the true champion for our Anchorage youth. We are so lucky to have Dave balance out the wacko Lefties on the Board.
    Donley is the only sane one who can save our kids.

  10. Instead of feeling sorry for him maybe Anchorage Conservative and Republican leaders should be studying him and how he can be re-elected. Cause Anchorage Democrats will be in-charge over this town for a long time, Donley can’t just be elected on conservative and Republican voters. It’s an obvious guess he knows how to keep good relations too with the right Democrat voters whose support and opinion counts without him losing his conservative and common sense values and principles.

  11. One thing I notice about Donley is he is really smart like late Art Chance only Donley he isn’t offensive. So everyone smarter and lesser then can like him and easily respects his opinion.

  12. Fantastic bit of info. Thanks for sharing the underbelly of our School Board. Too many conservatives have been working in private sector jobs, raising families, and skipping the protests to get elected, and now the inmates run the asylum. The ironic twist of not seconding the motion to table the minutes until they could be corrected is stunning. Clever, to be sure, but we did not elect board members to be clever.
    May Dave be remembered much longer than the slack-jawed clique that passes as a board.

  13. Keep the faith Dave. Many school board lemmings are self absorbed, self centered, lazy, slothful, buffoons, without backbone. Typical “kick the can” down the road mentality, with no vision, no imagination, no leadership abilities. Running the cerebral oval track. They’re so far behind, they actually think they’re in 1st place. Ignorance without a clue.

  14. Might be helpful for Dave to explain the School Board’s unanimous vote to bail out the Teamster pension fund or the Board’s unanimous vote to award million-dollar contracts only to unionized contractors.

  15. To Eaglexit sponsors, how is the new borough protected from the rot which is the Anchorage School District union-management team?
    Sure and this isn’t the first time asking but, until answers are forthcoming, it’ll not be the last.

    • Mute point. Anchorage will outspend any effort made to retain this cash cow. History repeats itself. No legitimate means will net results.

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