Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomePoliticsMayor Bronson hires Mario Bird as Muni Attorney, replacing Patrick Bergt

Mayor Bronson hires Mario Bird as Muni Attorney, replacing Patrick Bergt

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson today has selected Mario Bird as the Anchorage Municipal Attorney, and Michael Braniff as the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Courtney Petersen as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Bird will replace Patrick Bergt, who joined Alaska Communications. Bird was born in Soldotna, Alaska and graduated from Nikiski High School. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor of arts in film (magna cum laude). He received his juris doctor from the Ave Maria School of Law (magna cum laude) in Naples, Florida and served on the Ave Maria Law Review. He has been a practicing attorney for 10 years. Prior to pursuing a legal career, he worked as a photographer and editor for The Alaska Channel and as a teacher and coach for Holy Rosary Academy.  

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Braniff will replace Josh Durand who will be moving with his family to Colorado. Braniff is a graduate of University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Management and Operations. He has worked 16 years in the public and private sectors, including 13 years managing work projects and activities with parks throughout Anchorage.  

Petersen will replace Cheryl Frasca who retired in May. Petersen was raised in Dutch Harbor, Alaska and has worked in accounting and purchasing in Minnesota and Alaska. She has worked as a budget analyst for the past 15 years including nine with Municipality of Anchorage in the Office of Management and Budget.

“I appreciate the hard work, dedication, and commitment that Cheryl, Patrick, and Josh displayed in their roles for the Municipality of Anchorage,” Bronson said. “I thank them and their families for their sacrifices to make our city a better place. I look forward to the additions of Courtney, Mario, and Michael to the administration and seeing them display their skillsets for the benefit of the Municipality.” 

The Mayor’s appointees will be submitted to the Anchorage Assembly for approval.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. “The Mayor’s appointees will be submitted to the Anchorage Assembly for approval.”
    So two “no” and a “ maybe”.

  2. Three letter words like “yes” are beyond the intelligence of the current assembly. That they can manage the two-letter “no” is, of itself, remarkable. But a good thing – else all we’d hear is the drip of the drooling.

  3. The Mayor should have his choice for positions in his administration. His choices will make it clear for voters when Bronson is up for re-election. The people in Bronson’s executive branch are the only transparent part of his administration

  4. Mario Bird is described online as a “legal analyst” for the Alaska Watchman, a right-wing website, and he has published several articles on the site. He practices law “on behalf of freedom and religious causes, including the Alliance Defending Freedom,” according to his brief biography on the website.

    The Alliance Defending Freedom is a conservative Christian legal advocacy group that argues religious liberty cases and challenges LGBTQ rights nationwide,

    While Mr. Bird May be a lawyer, he apparently has no experience in municipal law, and it will Noh be surprising if some members of the assembly question his qualifications for the job of city attorney. The city needs lawyers who understand and can deal with a wide range of legal issues that the city confronts. It’s hard to discern that Mr. Bird has any relevant experience to deal with them.

      • Oh really? But you’re totally in favor of secular authoritarianism, right? Pushing the LGBTQ++++ on everyone (no dissenting beliefs allowed, right?), pushing atheism on everyone (no mention of God in the public arena allowed), making sure children are exposed to drag queen story hour, transgenderism not only allowed but encouraged, and every other Leftist wet dream you can think of. We’d be well-served with a little Christian authoritarianism right now – but don’t worry, that isn’t a thing. The divisive agents you’re referring to are the Anchorage Assembly refusing to tolerate any viewpoint other than their own. Why don’t you move to California, or Portland, or Seattle, or any other hellhole that wallows in your worldview?

  5. I am tired of people not coming to work at the city not answering the phone and getting a public trust fund paycheck anyway. I do not wish to be cruel.

  6. Mario has said that what constant and friends are doing is called ” a misuse of high office ” . But they who are the team of legal experts that Berk bragged about before the fraud election will ignore Mario also.

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