Mayor vetoes Assembly’s ordinance that was designed to kick him out of office; they’ll override

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Mayor Dave Bronson vetoed AO 60, the ordinance designed by leftist members of the Assembly to give themselves a fast-track way to get rid of the mayor if he crosses an indeterminate line they define as “breach of the public trust.”

“Since its adoption in 1975, the Anchorage Charter largely preserves to the voters the power to install and remove government officials who serve in the highest levels of Municipal government.  A very narrow carve-out from that retained power is found in Charter Section 7.01, which provides that an elective office holder may be removed from office, by means other than the ballot box, if that office holder has breached the public trust,” the mayor’s press release said.

When drafting the Charter, the Charter Commission recognized that there needs to be a procedure through which a determination can be made as to whether a “breach of the public trust” has occurred. 

Consequently, the Charter requires the Assembly to develop such a procedure “including provision for notice, a complete statement of the charge, a public hearing conducted by an impartial hearing officer, and judicial review.” 

The Charter does not authorize the Assembly to create additional substantive offenses for which an elected official may be removed from office. Nor does it authorize the Assembly to violate other Charter provisions or otherwise act unconstitutionally, the mayor said in his veto message.

Almost certainly the Assembly leftist leadership has the votes to override the veto and this matter will end up in court to determine if there has been an overreach of power by the Assembly into the authority of the Executive Branch and the people themselves, who elect the mayor.

“I am aware that Assembly members have used this Ordinance as a vehicle to try to send chills through the current administration, and that some members have publicly acknowledged that the Ordinance was introduced as a means to erect boundaries intended to circumscribe the legitimate exercise of executive power. I have heard the arguments and discussions that were presented for and against the ordinance, and well understand the disdain that was repeatedly expressed during public testimony.  I sympathize with the public’s frustration, however, this is not a reason for my decision to veto this legislation. Nor do I veto this Ordinance because the optics are bad or because other elected officials sometimes act in bad faith. I do not veto because the Ordinance arises from a partisan effort to attack the executive branch and certain policies with which various Assembly members disagree.  To the contrary, I veto AO 2022-60(S), As Amended because it creates specific conflicts with the Municipal Charter, and is therefore unconstitutional.”

The conflicts with Municipal Charter include the following, as described by the Bronson Administration:

Inconsistent Assertions/Definitions with the use of “breach of public trust”

  • The Ordinance crosses the line by stating that a breach of the public trust could happen regardless if the failure to execute a directive is substantial or insubstantial or if the directive for the theoretical mayor to follow is unconstitutional. 
  • The Ordinance states that different conduct is determined for different officials which reveals that it is impractical, and not merely just for of breaches of the public trust. The threshold for the theoretical mayor is not the same for an Assembly member or member of the School Board.  
  • The Ordinance is illogical and impulsive when it defines specific conduct as a breach of the public trust only when committed by specified elected officials but not others. The constitutional requirements of equal protection cannot be ignored.  

Delegation of Power Conflict with Municipal Attorney

  • The Ordinance goes against Municipal Charter that states that the municipal attorney “shall advise and assist the municipal government on legal matters”. This Ordinance is in conflict with Charter Section 5.04 and the separation of powers doctrine.
  • I have no doubt that the Assembly may hire its own counsel to provide it with advice when it is carrying out its own duties. What it may not do is require that the Municipal Attorney stand aside while some outside counsel is arbitrarily substituted for the Municipal Attorney for the purpose of reviewing an accusation prepared by either the Board of Ethics or the Assembly.
  • It might be argued that some procedures are needed to address situations in which a Municipal Attorney has a conflict of interest. However, the Ordinance does not deal with instances in which there is a conflict of interest, but rather merely assigns to the Assembly the power to hire an attorney of its choosing to substitute for the Municipal Attorney. That delegation of power is in conflict with Charter Section 5.04. 

Inconsistent Amendments

  • Heightened due process considerations introduced by Assembly members in this Ordinance are inconsistent with the Assembly amending current Code to reduce the vote to submit an accusation from two-thirds to a simple majority.  

The Assembly has ignored its obligation under Charter Section 7.01 for 47 years. Clearly, where the Assembly leadership continually reports to the press that they have no intention to actually use this Ordinance any time soon, there is no basis upon which the Assembly can assert that there is a pressing need to get this legislation into Code, or to continue to be divisive in the process.  The Assembly needs to step back and critically examine their effort, taking whatever additional time may be necessary to develop an ordinance that fully complies with the Charter.  After 47 years, that amount of time will be insignificant by comparison.

23 COMMENTS

  1. The eight never miss an opportunity to thumb their nose at the expressed will of the people. They usurp the public at each meeting. They should be removed for these reasons. Where are the complaints filed? Send notice to cure to each of these usurpers and the Police Department stating who, what, where, why and when. Send a deficiency notice to the federal attorney general asking for an inquiry. Forward courtesy carbon copies to Alaska’s Secretary of State asking to a legislative inquiry. Send copies of all of this to Congress asking for a Congressional inquiry if you believe your rights are continuously usurped. Send a courtesy copy to the Secret Service at Mara Lago Florida.

  2. And, the Governor of Alaska. Our guaranteed republic needs to be reparired and is lost and we have lost our representative form of government in Alaska in Anchorage.

  3. Forrest Dunbar is still angry losing the election to Bronson. And then the election to Don Young. I’ll bet he really has a tweaked nose and it won’t go back in shape. So, the assembly with all the recall problems is having a tough time accepting that they are not the total of government elected by the “people” of Anchorage Borough.

  4. The people of Anchorage have allowed their city to turn to shit. The ones that are to busy to get involved are the problem. Please stay in Anchorage, you deserve it.

    • I am not quite sure it is true that voters in Anchorage asked for this. In 2019, Vote by Mail was implemented in Anchorage and it wasn’t accomplished by a Public Vote. The Assembly Members in 2015-2018 voted to change it believing it would save money. It has not! In 2019, with Mail in Voting, this progressive liberal assembly was voted in. Shenanigans happen with this type of voting and now we can’t get rid of them!!! To make matters worse, the City Clerk who manages our elections in Anchorage works directly for this Liberal Assembly. This should be an elected position! If you don’t live in Anchorage, I would watch your local representatives like a hawk and make sure this doesn’t happen to you. We also don’t need it in Alaska but look at how easy it was for RCV to be adopted.

  5. Time for some very public rallies all across Anchorage Mr. Mayor. Along the lines of Trump rallies. Inform the people. Get them excited, motivated and informed. Tell them their Assembly is holding a knife to Democracy’s throat. It’s basically all or nothing at this point.

  6. Operative words of the Charter:
    .
    The “PUBLIC trust,”
    .
    NOT the trust of the radical Marxist Assembly.
    .
    Important distinction.

  7. Mayor Bronson has committed two grave sins according to the leftest majority on the Assembly: (1) that he dared to run for Mayor against their darling, Forrest Dunbar and (2) that he actually won the election and became mayor. For those unpardonable usurpations, Mayor Bronson must suffer unrelenting ad hominem attacks and also to his administration. So nothing really constructive gets done for the people of Anchorage. They are too busy “putting the mayor in his place”. It is pathetic non-stop drama. The latest is the attempt by leftists on the Assembly to pass an ordinance to be rid of this troublesome mayor. When will the people of Anchorage realize that by continuing to vote in these fools, they undermine the welfare of Anchorage? It’s high stakes for all Alaskans. When Anchorage has a cold it’s only a matter of the rest of Alaska catches it. We must do better.

  8. What I really respect about Bronson is he publicly stands and fights. He loses far too often (not his fault) but he actually fights.

    Love him or hate him, he doesn’t hide behind Ben Stevens desk or go silent.

    If this was the legislature, Dunleavy would have signed the damn thing.

  9. The only way utilizing the charter to remove the mayor could be genuine is if the assembly majority and the mayor were political allies. Otherwise, it is obviously a corrupt political tactic which usurps the will of the voters.

  10. Override in three… two…
    .
    Seriously, this ordinance has to be squashed. It provides the Assembly with full power to destroy the Mayor. And, the Mayor’s office has no equivalent authority/power over the Assembly. Curiously, the Assembly retained that authority for themselves.
    .
    Yeah… you read that right. The Assembly has the first shot at determining the merit of a claim against an Assembly member. They get to police themselves. And, they get to police the Mayor as well.

  11. I was wondering when the Mayor was going to get around to the notion that the ordinance is a Charter change without a vote of the citizens of Anchorage. Good on you, Mayor. Cheers –

  12. Speaking only for myself and not the School Board or ASD (disclaimer required by Anchorage School Board):
    At the quarterly meeting of the Anchorage Assembly and School Board last month I disagreed with the Assembly Members advocating for this untimely action to empower themselves to remove the Mayor. Among other objections, I told them that, if their actions were not intended to remove Mayor Bronson, they should at a minimum put a delayed effective date on their changes, so they did not go into effect until after the next Mayor election. Candidates for Mayor and the voters are entitled to know what the rules are before the election and changing them mid-term is wrong. Very tellingly, none of the Assembly Members responded to this objection. Member Constant did attempt to defend the substance of the ordinance.

    • Are other members of the school board required to make the same “speaking for myself” disclaimer? Or just the lone conservative

  13. Common sense is nonsense to the commie ASSembly members.
    They only have hatred for we the people.
    Stop electing these morons!
    Go Mayor Bronson! Fight this all the way!

  14. What you have here is one failed mayoral candidate, Dunbar, colluding with an assembly member, Constant, by hiring another failed mayoral candidate, Falsey, to provide “legal” basis for the BS being promoted by the 9 criminals on the assembly to further marginalize the property tax payers in Anchorage by removing another of their Constitutional rights. The right to hire and fire the mayor lies with the voters and the assembly is violating MY rights by inferring they have the right to remove MY elected mayor.

  15. Glad he did. The assembly just declared open war upon half of the people of the municipality.

  16. I cannot find any Assembly meeting minutes on the MOA websites; no record of actions taken. No wonder the Assembly members act like they can get away with any craziness – there is no accessible record of what they do.

  17. Good Point JDM. Also, in a fit of pique the lonely souls at the very end of the reign of the masquers wiped/deleted Anchorage’s very expensive, useful page because: they didn’t voted in and they were mad. Though legally trained they gave no creedence to preserving public documents and when the winder new Mayor FINALLY gained admittance over various objections he had, indeed, a very blank slate as it were. Who ever wiped that page needs to pay the city several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead we are paying her to recreate one after a fashion in a manner preferred by the international budwerds yet another blank page. I hate punks.

  18. Well, he was quick to Veto it, and that is good because they will over-ride it and he is trying to finish this up and get through their lawsuits as quickly as possible.
    It is going to cost us money, we shall be funding both sides of this battle.

  19. Curious what percentage of voters participated in electing the mayor vs electing these shallow self righteous flakes?

    Saddest thing is that most of Anchorage doesn’t have any clue about what’s going on and then when the ADN makes the shocking announcement about the assembly officially moving forward with attempts to remove the mayor, the liberals well just assume Bronson is a jerk without even knowing a single name of an assembly member and the rest will just shake their heads and say something like “ya I find it’s healthier for my state of mind to just not pay attention to things I can’t change.” And you know what, they are right. We can’t sway these people. 30,000 people could go to Lusac and protest and that would just make the liberals in town clutch their responsibly harvested pearls even harder and activate them even more to believe the ends justify the means.

    This isn’t just here either. It’s everywhere around the world. But wisdom, justice, and truth always prevail, and these flakes are truly short sighted and don’t have principles or integrity and eventually this will catch up to them one way or the other.

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