In the Drama section: Assembly creates hostile work environment for conservative assistant library director, as it conducts an illegal inquisition in public session

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Must Read Alaska’s Suzanne Downing finished touring the Loussac Library early Friday afternoon. Minutes later, Assemblyman Chris Constant announced in a public meeting that Must Read Alaska had been seen touring the library with the city manager and the city human resources director, a tour being given by Assistant Library Director Judy Eledge.

Constant knew of the tour because an employee of the library had quickly reached out to the assemblyman with a “sightings” report. Constant was making the point on the record that the Bronson Administration was not at the meeting because City Manager Amy Demboski and Human Resources Director Niki Tshibaka prioritized giving Must Read Alaska a tour of the library, rather than attending the inquiry that the Assembly has opened up regarding the assistant library director.

Downing was getting familiar with the library operations and challenges, as political pressure from the Assembly to usurp the Executive Branch’s legal authority to operate the city continues to heat up in Anchorage politics. The Anchorage public libraries are at the heart of a growing culture war in Alaska’s biggest city, and have become a kind of religious fortress for the partisan Left.

Pride Month display at Loussac Library.

Constant’s comment became part of the official record during his Friday afternoon inquisition that was held with the intent to cause stress to, and force the resignation of Assistant Library Director Eledge. The meeting was part theater, coming on the heels of a savaging report from Alaska Public Media that called Eledge a racist.

It was a meeting that the Assembly had been warned was likely illegal.

Assemblywoman Jamie Allard phoned in, but also quickly left the meeting after she became uncomfortable that the Assembly was actually breaking the law as it pertains to the rights of employees of the city.

“This is clearly an orchestrated political attack directed at a municipal employee. I believe this is inappropriate and likely a violation of law. I will not participate in this witch hunt,” Allard said, before excusing herself from the meeting that was organized by Assembly Chairwoman Suzanne LaFrance and Vice Chairman Constant.

Eledge is a civic leader and educator in Anchorage, the president of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, and was an elector for the Republican Party. She was initially appointed the director of the library, but because she does not have a masters degree in library science, the Assembly would not confirm her; she is assistant library director, and a new director is to start in August.

The Assembly had been advised in writing in advance by the Bronson Administration not to verbally disparage city employees like Eledge during an open meeting, but the members proceeded with the meeting anyway, allowing attacks in spite of the legal warning from the Law Department that they need to take such matters up in executive session. LaFrance and Constant were careful to use Eledge’s job title, rather than her name, during their criticisms, but have still opened themselves up to a discrimination complaint that Eledge herself now has the right to pursue.

Even the City’s Ombudsman has piled on in the witch hunt, taking a side with the cabal of critics of Eledge, who is managing library operations until the permanent library director arrives.

Bronson was elected in part by parents and other citizens concerned about the grooming of children going on in the library during Drag Queen Story Hour, a sanctioned event under the previous Administration.

Teen Underground room in the Loussac Library features plenty of gay nonfiction and multiple copies of a critical race theory book, “Stamped,” in a prominent location.

Ombudsman Darryl Hess also made damaging statements to Alaska Public Media. He allowed former library employees to skip going to the Human Resources Department because, he said in writing, HR Director Niki Tshibaka is married to a candidate for U.S. Senate, and therefore the employees don’t trust Tshibaka, and preferred to go to Hess.

The media ally of the Assembly, the Anchorage Daily News, latched onto the story and has made it the focal point of its latest attack on the Bronson Administration, one of many missiles the newspaper has launched against the mayor since he took office last June. So important was it that the readers see this particular attack piece, the editors have even removed the paywall on it. You can read the ADN story without paying for it at this link.

A former assistant library director, who has since moved out of state, lodged a complaint to the Office of Equal Opportunity, saying that Eledge said, “If it weren’t for the white man and his oil the natives would still be living in caves.”

“[Jacob] Cole’s email detailed additional disparaging comments he said Eledge made about Alaska Natives and other groups. She complained about ‘white guilt and white apologists,’ he wrote,” according to the ADN account.

“The things that Judy Eledge has said that have shocked and disturbed me are many but these are the ones I can best remember,” Cole wrote in the email, according to the ADN.

The inquisition started with a letter to Municipal Manager Amy Demboski on Thursday, in which LaFrance and Constant demanded answers to a series of personnel and operational questions. Demboski said the Assembly is inappropriately trying to take over the functions of the executive branch and she had no intention of allowing that to happen. It’s another separation of powers issue.

LaFrance and Constant voiced concerns that several funded positions at the library have gone unfilled. Assemblyman Kevin Cross noted that across all industries, it’s hard to find good workers, but Constant argued that something else is going on that is creating the worker shortage at the library. “It’s something else,” he stated.

The entire meeting was not recorded as required, but a portion of it is on YouTube:

43 COMMENTS

  1. These tours are a great practice of public relations. We should innundate the library regularly with rotating knowledgeable docents/directors to ennervate an interest in this jewel of our city and energize personal scholastic projects. What a funtastic idea Suzanne. Thanks for this new trend. Perfect! Let’s keep it going!

  2. More “Gay Rage,” which is quickly becoming the avenue of attack by the homosexual community and the generalized LGBTQ community. Now that state and local politics is becoming infested with these deviants, and in the case of the Anchorage Assembly…….a highly charged political body….. they are becoming more bold in their attacks. They are filled with HATE towards Conservatives, Christians, and anyone who challenges their political and moral turpitudes. We have to remember that their true numbers are actually quite small. It’s their political supporters from the Democrat Party that give them their power. And they will weaponize it every chance they get considering the direction our country is being steered by the Leftists. Let’s be clear: their agenda is to further erode the family and create a pathway for themselves to arrest control of young, underdeveloped minds.

  3. The Assembly does not work in the library, an exodus of well qualified civil servants from the library since Bronson installed his chosen one subverting Municipal Code is all one needs to know

    • What did she do at the library that cheesed you off so bad Frank? Limiting our youths access to porn or limiting (very slightly) their access to homosexual grooming journals.
      You seem to tout yourself as some sort of hawk against wasteful government, like your numerous references to Mayor Sullivans purchase of a wonky accounting software package, but when this librarian makes a few pieces of office furniture with a pulse cop the walk you cry subversion….????? If the assembly doesn’t work or conduct business in the library then why the hell are they clutching the pearls over a walkthrough? Surely someone if not multiple delicate peoples of the assembly and staff felt like this was a durge to “their” area. Otherwise there wouldn’t be anything to write about. Get a clue Mr. Hypocrisy.

    • The assembly most definitely does “work” in the library Frank. The assembly meetings we have been going to for quite some time now to fight against this type of punitive, wasteful, tyrannical type of governance happen at the library. Open mouth insert foot, eh Frank. Why doesn’t it bother you when the left acts exactly like a spoiled brat?

      • Democrat-run libraries are havens for groomers, pedophiles, and LGBTQ cruisers.
        Always has been. Thank God, Republican-run libraries use common sense and repel these deviants.

  4. The corrupt leftist politicians should be run out of town and be forced to live in some place all to themselves away from decent people

    • Tim, you are by all means a walking contradiction. By suggesting your comment, you deem yourself as non-decent. A hypocrite. It is not your place, or any other’s of Christianity to judge someone. That is God’s and only his to do.

  5. Reminds me of the first axiom of politics.
    “The action taken by the person is not what causes the offense.
    The political affiliation of the person taking action is what causes the offense.”

  6. Wait, doesn’t this entire article contradict its intent as Judy and others expected to be at this meeting to address her employee concerns? A defamation case wouldn’t work because she has so many allegations, if ANY of them proved to be viable, she would loose the case most as soon as she started it.

    This article is vary narrow, contradictive and compared to problems she has caused within our libraries, and I find this article more damaging to her, than trying to support her at the moment.

    • She’d lose the case because she is a Republican and straight, and both disqualify you before the Assembly and most of Alaska’s leftist judiciary.

      • You should consider coming back to Juneau. As bad as we are, Anchorage is becoming East Germany with violent crime.

      • No. She would lose the case because of her hate and abuse and lack of skills to maintain stability of our libraries and staff. She never met minimal qualifications for the director role and what we are seeing now, is a direct result of having someone unqulified for the postion in the role.

  7. Suzanne….. your an anarchist. Good job. As pathetic as this assembly is, the sad thing is that the right will neveeeer fight this hard for our side. This is why we are losing all over the place.
    P.s. I hope yo took a long shower after being in the loussac aka the hot zone.

  8. I seen Chris constant is on the ethics and elections committee, I was shocked. Chris constant you have no love of GOD and absolutely no since of oath duty at all sir. Your actions and accomplishments prove my theory. Jesus said it will be like the days of Noah when I return. Oath breakers look at what you have caused. Stop immediately return to your oath duty be like the rest of us and learn how to loose love win and love our GOD and do what is right as Jesus did for us all.

  9. We have lost our library! I wouldn’t set foot in that place!!! My grandchildren will NEVER darken the doors of that place!

  10. Charles Krauthammer wrote in the introduction to his book Things That Matter, “Turns out we need to know one more thing on earth: politics– because of its capacity, when benign, to allow all around it to flourish, and its capacity, when malign, to make all around it wither.” Mr. Constant is clearly in the “malign” camp. And that opinion comes from many years watching his Fairview community council shenanigans as a former Fairview resident and now as I approach 10 happy years in the Mat-Su.

  11. I can’t believe you were tattled on by them calling Constant. It is similar to junior high school drama. As a still relative newcomer to the state, I can not believe a two bit hack like Constant has as much political sway as he does.

  12. Suzanne can you start giving tours of the library? I think that would be a real eye-opener for people. I’ll sign up.

  13. Eledge has no place in the library or really any public post. Her radical religious views belong in a church, not public service. I applaud the Assembly for attempting to get to the bottom of the pit of garbage Bronson is creating in Anchorage.

      • They can, and there is a bunch. Problem is, judy is pushing those views on everyone else forcefully. And that is, and never has been ok in a Library. It is for everyone, not just Christians. For her to continue to try and get rid of LGBTQ+ books, we would need to be fair to who ever is pushing them to go away, that would mean we would need to ban the Bible.

        But then there would be quite the uproar, but then who would be to blame? Would it not be Judy is who trying to suppress one culture over another? There isn’t really freedom there is there? But that’s just it, librarians know that trying to cancel a culture for another is never ok, but then, Judy has never been librarian. Nor does she has credentials to be one. See the problem?

        But then she brings a partisan only to the table and regardless of party, all librarians are trained through school to be bi-partisan. To keep their own views, their own. So everyone can pratice what they belive as they have the freedom to do as such… or do they not???

    • People like you are exactly why we need fighters like Suzanne and Eledge.
      There is nothing remotely radical about her. However if you would care to look at the disaster this assembly has been and how they are using radicalization as a tool to force anchorage into something more akin to Portland or San Francisco then yeah we could talk about radical. Your concern is greatly misplaced.

      • To be Frank, Frank, Judy and Eledge are not fighters, they twist reality to better fit a narrative that’s appealing to a religious culture. Problem is, this particular culture is so self absorbed in their own ideals, they forget God. Fakes so to say. Full of hate, mischief and they puts on a show to make them feel better about themselves, but God explains through his word about these people all the time. And they shall receive no reward from God.

        Who damages their children with these ideals? Who pushes family away the most? Who is the real cause of the lost? I can certainly tell you it’s not the devil. But twisted minds that live in a fantasy, and since that is all they know, they expect everyone else to abid by it, or live by it. And when people don’t, oh my… they go mad, forget the building blocks of their fantasy (God) and his word and make up their own ways… which are not God’s ways, and think their self images are righteous, when they are not.

        The full context of what has been happening at the library needs to be address, not just portions you like, Frank.

  14. This is all because of Covid. Constant was not a “leader” until the public got locked out and they refused to have the required election. Now we the people, the public, remain a bit unwelcome evidently. It is our place not the assembly. Move them to the health building on L street if they want to be all covidy again. Their antiliberty party is over. The Constitution is back.

  15. There’s not a day goes by I’m not grateful to God I left Anchorage for Juneau.

  16. It is truly a shame that library’s have become much like public transportation. Something best avoided. Thank God that I have amassed my own collection of books and my own transportation. But unfortunately, I still have to pay taxes to support these useless institutions. That is the real injustice. If they were even close to self supported I would have no complaints. Public libraries and buses are a thing of the past, and represent nothing but social welfare paid for by us for the benefit of those who don’t contribute. And now for political purposes as well. Let’s get rid of them.

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