Eugene Haberman, an Anchorage government watchdog, has passed - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
HomeAlmanacEugene Haberman, an Anchorage government watchdog, has passed

Eugene Haberman, an Anchorage government watchdog, has passed

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A man who attended nearly every Anchorage Assembly meeting, including special meetings, has died, Must Read Alaska has learned.

Eugene Haberman testified on almost every item on the agenda, much to the annoyance of Anchorage Assembly members. But over the years, he had perfected the art of the 3-minute time limit, including the preamble that he always included:

“My name is Eugene Haberman. I follow the public process. When the public process is done appropriately, the decisions made by the governing body is more likely to be in the public interest.”

In June, Haberman was heading to Anchorage from his home in Wasilla to testify at an Assembly meeting. He was in a serious car accident, and was covered with blood and glass, as he described it. But his friends helped him get suited up and cover his wounds, and he made it to the meeting — but not in time for public testimony. The Assembly would not accept his testimony since he was late, and he wrote about the event in The People’s Paper.

At one point, the Assembly took up an ordinance designed to try to limit his participation.

With three minutes allowed for each public hearing item, Haberman’s participation in a meeting could stretch to 15 minutes, irritating members such as Christopher Constant, who once said, “While the public may come for a public hearing on a specific item, he (Haberman) comes and testifies on multiple items every single night — sometimes as many as 10 or 15 items,”

At a recent Assembly meeting, Haberman fainted and was attended to in the Assembly Chambers by a medic. He was 70 years old. He was said to have died a few days later at home; we are unable to confirm the time and place of his passing.

Haberman also attended many meetings of the Anchorage School Board and public meetings in the Mat-Su Valley, where he lived. He always dressed dapperly in a suit and tie to attend public meetings, and since the pandemic started, he was always seen in an N95 mask.

He was known as a kindly but persistent man who had lived in Alaska for more than 43 years. During the 1980s, he published a periodical called “Gay Alaska,” to promote the gay lifestyle in the 49th state. He also worked as a doorman for the Sheraton Hotel downtown in his earlier years.

At the Oct. 12 Assembly meeting he admonished the Assembly for allowing the crowd in the room to become unruly. But earlier this year, he was convicted for a misdemeanor charge of Cause Fear Of Injury in Palmer.

The cause of his death is not known by Must Read Alaska.

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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

  • Eugene consstantly pointed out the deficiencies in the action of the assembly but he was not partisan in any way. He was supportive when he found the process to be equitable and was very vocal when he saw activities that he perceived as underhanded or hidden from public view. He will be missed.

    • Exactly!
      A very nice man, dedicated to public process, I was fortunate to have had many conversations with him on issues.
      Mr. Haberman indeed will be missed.

  • Sorry to hear about Eugene. Rest in peace.

  • You have to respect a man with such passion simply reserved for the process. Rest in peace Mr. Haberman.

  • Heck if we had even one platoon of such people that consistently attended these dreary public meetings were the weasels scanter about, well our totalitarian troubles here might soon be over. Rest in peace Sir.

  • I’m sorry to hear of his passing. Eugene was very sincere in his pursuit of correct public process, and his efforts will have a lasting positive impact on the conduct of public meetings in Houston.

  • Eugene was a dedicated presence at Assembly meetings. He believed in the public process and decorum. When he quietly shook his head, I would take notice because it was a sign that there was something wrong with the process. I will miss Eugene.

  • Oooooh! Don’t take people who become a regular feature in our community for granted.
    Eugene wasnt an elected official. He did develop the Stature that epitomizes our elected officials position. I will miss seeing him during Assembly meetings.
    Thanks for letting me know why he hasn’t been present.

  • On rare occasions he was right – that the governing body had abused the public process in a specific instance.

    But he cried wolf so very often that his comments were completely ignored.

    At least he was a polite non violent fellow who you could engage in an intelligent conversation.

  • May he rest in peace. Alot of people above have stated most of the same things I have would have said.

  • And . . . he was a resident of Wasilla.

  • Bless his Heart and his strong hold of common sense, morals and ethics of being a human being.
    I would have loved to have known him and could have study from him!

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