They can’t fire you if you quit.
The Anchorage Health Department Director has decided to withdraw from his appointment rather than be voted down by the Anchorage Assembly.
In a letter to Mayor Dave Bronson, Morgan said he didn’t want to put his family through the bruising confirmation vote on Tuesday, which appeared unfavorable.
The committee confirmation hearing for David Morgan was brutal, with the liberal-controlled Assembly asking him pointed questions about his politics, which are conservative, and his views on Covid-19. The Assembly, badgering him for over an hour, made it clear to all that he was not going to be confirmed.
Morgan has over 40 years of management in the health sector. The previous health department director, Heather Harris, had come into the job after running the Boys and Girls Club; she had no health management experience, but faced an easy confirmation process because she was chosen by former Mayor Ethan Berowitz, a Democrat, who three months later resigned in disgrace.
But Morgan has also been involved in Republican politics, and is well known as the chair of District 17 for the Alaska Republican Party. He has been outspoken on many topics, pandemic and otherwise.
Assembly Vice Chair Christopher Constant, who has had many gaffes in social media and with hot mics, was especially interested in short-circuiting Morgan. Constant was one of Forrest Dunbar’s key lieutenants in his failed campaign for mayor.
“I regretfully accept David Morgan’s resignation today as Director of the Anchorage Health Department. David Morgan has proven over many years in public health administration that he is highly experienced, qualified, and capable. However, due to what can only be described as a political campaign against him, David Morgan has decided to remove his name from consideration and avoid the months of partisan attacks that would follow him at every turn,” Bronson said. “The Anchorage Assembly has long acknowledged that a new Mayor should have the authority and ability to appoint his or her own senior leadership team. However, the Assembly is headed down a very dangerous path that challenges years of precedent and undermines any future Administration from performing its required duties.”
Following David Morgan’s resignation, Bronson today named Anchorage Health Department Deputy Director DeeAnn Fetco as Acting Director until the position can be filled on a full-time basis.