Former mayors spearhead effort to override Assembly ordinance granting them new powers to remove the mayor

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A group of Anchorage citizens, including two former mayors, filed a petition application with the Anchorage Municipal Clerk with the goal of putting the question directly to voters: Can the Assembly simply decide on its own to remove the mayor, or is this still the job of the voters?

The petition is in response to AO 2022-60, the ordinance passed last month by the Assembly that gives the Assembly the unprecedented power to remove the mayor for the flimsiest of reasons under the category of “breach of public trust.” The Assembly, which leans far left, is looking for a way to get rid of Mayor Dave Bronson, without waiting for a recall election that would be instigated by the public.

Bronson vetoed the ordinance’s passage but on Monday, the Assembly leftist majority overrode his veto.

Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones has 10 days to respond to the application for a petition. Jones maintains she has 30 days to respond, however. When asked by the sponsors for a timeline for all steps needed to get the matter in front of the voter, Jones refused to answer, saying it should be obvious to everyone.

Former mayor George Wuerch is one of lead sponsors, along with former mayor Dan Sullivan. The two believe that Anchorage Ordinance 2022-60 is a violation of the separation of powers. AO-2022-60 allows the Assembly to serve as complainant, jury, and judge for such offenses as the ill-defined “culpable indifference” that the Assembly may use as a reason to remove the mayor.

“This ordinance is a bridge too far,” said former Mayor Dan Sullivan, pictured above on the right at City Hall. “The petition we filed today really represents the proper separation of powers between executive branch and the legislative branch of the city. The ordinance — 2022-60 — allows them to serve as the judge and jury on whatever they deem to be improper conduct, which is written vaguely enough so it could be that they simply disagree with the mayor’s policy. The voters of the city should have the right to weigh in and that is what the recall part of the charter does.”

Sullivan said the mayor serves a three-year term, and there is a recall process already in place in the city charter.

“The mayor’s removal should also be by the people, not just the legislative branch. And if they are worried about mayor doing something criminal, that is the role of the legal system,” he said.

The 10 other cosponsors of the petition application include former Assembly members Ernie Hall, Bill Starr, Craig Campbell, Debbie Ossiander, Dan Kendall, Crystal Kennedy, and Erica Johnson. Citizens Bruce Schulte and Trina Johnson also were signers of the application for petition.

If the petition is granted by Municipal Clerk Jones, the group attempting to overturn the ordinance will have to get at least 7,500 signatures of Anchorage voters on the petition within 90 days in order to then get it to the ballot. If the petition is not granted, there are legal avenues to help the group get the petition. The process of overturning ordinances is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming and has not been attempted in many years.

48 COMMENTS

    • We could have last April but we failed. We have to stop running multiple candidates for starters followed by simply getting out our friends and neighbors to vote. Frustrating.

    • AMEN! George Wuerch and Dan Sullivan – Two of the the best Mayors this City has ever had when it comes to integrity! Where do we sign up?

      • And thank you Craig Campbell for being a cosponsor of this petition. I remember your integrity when I was a grunt staffer in the municipal administration many years ago. God Bless.

  1. How does the Barbara Jones get all this power that she is asserting? I say it’s time for her to go. She deserves to be fired for everything she has done.

  2. All I can say is thank you for doing this. So lets see what the crook I mean clerk does. Also how about charging the squad of nine with a coup attempt.

  3. This is so much better- creating petition and the public outreach that’ll tell muni residents an important petition that’ll effect all future mayors- than disgruntled groups storming and creating a ruckus at the chambers or private homes.

  4. This supposed Municipal Clerk is obviously the power behind the ‘throne’ of the nefarious nine as she controls what can and cannot be done within election processes within the Municipality of Anchorage, and as such, when the final tally of comeuppance has finally come due, she will suffer, hopefully, the greatest civil and criminal penalties of the group.

    She serves not only at the pleasure of noxious nine but holds power that would not be hers without that pathetic symbiotic aspect.

    They hold power because of her.

    She holds power because of them.

    The citizenry holds no power because of them both.

    • I remember the verbal bludgeoning when she barged into my office some 18 – 20 years ago and demanded I place her staff’s pay study ahead of the others on my log to give her staff a huge raise. When I told her the rules, she went over my head to the department director to make it happen. The director ordered me to write up the study, which I did, but I refused to sign it. The director signed it and everything was hunky dory. This is your Municipal Clerk some 20 years later.

  5. It’s about( way past) time this one way left leaning sig heil assembly has been stood up to by citizens of this city ! There is no way they represent the will of the people and the last time I knew, that is what we voted for !

    • Yes – Mayor Bronson was elected by the will of the people. Let’s not let these sorry excuses for human beings meddle with him and his administration any longer!

  6. The Clerk needs to be removed too. Municipal clerks are not political positions – they must remain neutral to perform their duties. Good luck with the petition, but this one is going to court.

  7. Thank goodness these common sense prior mayors and citizens are doing something to prevent this rogue assembly!! Thank you! Where do I sign up to help?

  8. I have lost faith in the donkey and the elephant how bout you?? Try the lamb ALL, you won’t loose faith and you will be much better off.

  9. Sign me up! About time you all come out! this is crazy! I don’t care if you a true blue democratic or a true red republican or in between! This assembly is out of order! People can’t even say anything without being shut down!

  10. Remember, the Clerk works for the Assembly and oversees vote counting in Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote system.
    .
    What could possibly go wrong?
    .
    Maybe the next petition should make the Clerk an elected position.

    • And, that is where the biggest problem with this ordinance lies.
      If you read the Muni code, there is a process for removing an assembly member for, essentially, the same reason that 2022-60 has for removal of the Mayor. But…
      That process has the Assembly weigh in on the accusation/claim, and if they see it as valid, it is forwarded through to the formal removal process. Yes, you heard that right. The assembly gets to decide if an accusation against an assembly member is valid.
      .
      The process for removal of the mayor is exactly the same. The first gatekeeper is the Assembly. Yep. In both cases, the Assembly gets to decide whether the accusations are valid.
      .
      Had AO 2022-60 given the Executive branch the equivalent power/authority, there would be no problem with it, in my mind. An accusation against the Mayor would be sent to the Mayor first for a validity determination. Or maybe the Mayor’s chief of staff, whatever. But someone in his office, not the Assembly.
      .
      Alternately, if the code was changed to have the Executive branch be the arbiter of a claim against an Assembly member, it would be OK with me as well. Let the Assembly determine merit of claims against the Mayor, but the Mayor gets the same ability to determine when an Assembly member does wrong.

  11. Thank you Mayors. Relative to this bizarre overly activist assembly your times as Mayor look like much more normal government behavior. The petitions need to be signed immediately by everyone and I hope everyone agrees.

  12. If she denies the petition can these folks take her to court? I know a lot of folks that would be more than happy to sign the petition.

    • I believe so, but be sure to sign it.

      If someone filing suit isn’t a signatory to the petition, it allows wiggle room for the courts to say the petitioner lacked standing to sue.

      If you want to beat them at their game, learn their rules.

  13. “Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones has 10 days to respond to the application for a petition.”
    .
    Taking bets. How long before she rejects it for some typo, or use of the wrong font, or poor grammar, or some other BS reason?

  14. Now we will see just how far this assembly will go in their takeover attempt. I seriously doubt that this will ever come to vote, as rules do not apply to these extremists. And they will redouble their movement to remove the mayor in the meantime. A strong Governor is what is needed now.

  15. Now we will see just how far this assembly will go in their takeover attempt. I seriously doubt that this will ever come to vote, as rules do not apply to these extremists. And they will redouble their movement to remove the mayor in the meantime. A strong Governor is what is needed now. Our present governor will remain neutral as always, he doesn’t live in Anchorage.

  16. Of course it should be up to the voters. Mayor is an elected (by the people) position. Only the people can “unelect” the Mayor.

  17. This Assembly’s majority is driven by Gay Rage. End of story. Homosexuals are psychologically driven. Confusion and psychosis rules them. Not logic and compassion.

  18. Doesn’t it seem like there are way too many meetings and too many cupcake work sessions handling executive duties? I get that misusing power not delegated to you is fun but all these things are the Mayor’s duties to execute. What is happening?

  19. Since the assembly oversteps meeting boundaries times and authorities isn’t Anchorage overdue to be free from their overreaching tyranny? A court order keeping them OUT of executive property unless scheduled by the executive would be nice to normalize this pathologic overreach? These people in the Assembly have their babysitter mode turn on way high. The elected executive should tend to the city business or not. No daily control, running in like a babysitter train wreck on steroids through the departments. NO. Thank you. Call the cops. SERIOUSLY. The Assembly may attend one (1) publicly noticed meeting a week on City premises. There is no evidence Anchorage delegated demi-god status to these neighbors. NO. We elected an executive OVER our minion Assembly. Back off babysitting assembly members trying to be ma and pa. Get over your outrageous covid selves as we have done.

  20. It is interesting to note that none of the usual radical leftist shills and trolls here (Frank Rast, Z Thomas, Lucinda, Bill Yankee, etc.) have ever ONCE come out in defense of the immoral, illegal, egregiously charter-violating usurpations of power (such as this one) by the ass-embly’s Marxist Nine.

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