Mayor's second library director resigns - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, January 16, 2022
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Mayor’s second library director resigns

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Judy Eledge saw the writing on the wall with the Anchorage Assembly and evidently didn’t want to put herself and her family through the liberal Assembly meat grinder. She knew she would not be confirmed by the oppositional majority that has been blocking Mayor Dave Bronson on his cabinet choices. And so she resigned on Friday.

Eledge, who was appointed after the Assembly denied Bronson his first pick for the job, former school principal Sami Graham. The Assembly didn’t like Graham because she lacks master’s degree in library science. Eledge also doesn’t have that particular degree. Both have been lifelong educators, however, with decades of teaching or administering schools in Alaska.

The Alaska Library Association had opposed both nominees because of the degree that the protectionist group feels is essential to managing a library.

Eledge has been asked to remain as deputy library director, a position that does not require confirmation. The mayor’s office will conduct a search for a new library director.

Graham, meanwhile, is serving as Bronson’s chief of staff.

The Assembly majority of nine has given the mayor’s office a clear indication that it will buck his appointments and has already denied confirmation to two top-level nominees in the city — Jim Winegarner for Real Estate, and Graham for Libraries. Dave Morgan for Health resigned before the Assembly brought his name forward for a vote, when he realized he didn’t have the votes to be confirmed.

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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.

Latest comments

  • Thank you for clarifying what the left twists.

    • This is an opinion piece.

  • Good job Gang of 9, keep stifling the administrative branch of our administration. I thought I left this sort of childishness behind in 3rd grade.

  • The politburo will gut Bronson at every turn. Even if, especially if, it’s good for Anchorage.

    They should just go ahead and openly declare a coop and attempt to toss Bronson in jail. It would be more honest.

    • Learn to spell, then maybe people will actually care about your opinion.

  • So sick of the Communists in the Anchorage Assembly!

  • The Anchorage Assembly’s Sacred Band of Thebes is nothing to be trifled with, underestimate them at your peril.

  • Just don’t fill it and let her run it as the deputy.

  • Conservatives, we have a massive education task to perform – and keep performing it. We have massive election work to do. How can Anchorage NOT recall Zaletel? Dunbar? Constant? AQD? And all the other alt-left? For someone as tough as Judy Eledge to duck a fight, we are in BIG trouble. Mayor Bronson, keep up the good fight.

    • Not only did anchorage not recall Meg, she gained 1200 votes over the actual election. The mob at the Assembly meetings backfired.

      • Nice twisting of statistics. Of course Zaletel is going to pick up more votes when there are only two choices on the ballot versus the four choices available (two opponents plus a write-in slot) when she was first elected in 2019.

  • I wonder how many of Mayor Bronson’s picks are Real salt and light of the earth Christians? Because you know when a Christian has found where God wants them, they aren’t easily intimidated by the adversaries agianst the work God called them. I thought it strange during the inauguration events the DJ did not play not even consider blending Christian songs with the music repertoire. It would had set a more better tone for the parties and the future.

    Bronson cabinet picks needn’t take the Assembly’s attacks against them personally. The attack is aimed at Bronson not at them. Imagine how much pressure Bronson feels. He has the Mayor’s office. The best the remainder cabinet members can do is remain loyal as a troop, don’t leave a soldier behind.

    • And your man Prevo is at Liberty University bleeding the beast, that is taxpayers like you and me, but hey he is Christian so he is de facto righteous.

  • Qualified no doubt, but should have the credentials. Why play into their hands?

  • Neither candidate had the degree necessary for the job. It was foolish of Bronson to double down on this issue. Now, he’s trying to move the city library to the Parks and Rec devision so he won’t need assembly approval for his next nominee. Equally dumb.
    The assembly and the mayor need to come to some sort of truce. Right now, Bronson is the one making foolish choices. Most of his candidates get assembly approval, but his insistence that he gets HIS candidates every time, even if the assembly decides they’re not qualified, is not helping. He needs to realize his job is not to rule but to govern.

    • Interestingly, it was not that many years ago that Anchorage Public Library were under Parks and Rec.

      • I did not know that. Did the job then have requirements or was it up for grabs?

  • The assembly is a disgrace. Vote them out!!!

  • I agree with you. But I honestly think that’ll never happen. Recall or not. Whether we agree with the Marxist assembly or not those assembly members was voted in by the majority of Anchorage during their election cycle and even when two of those who faced a recall election they were not rejected by the majority. Instead they won hands down and not even close to being rejected. This brings me to conclude that if they can somehow get Mayor Bronson on a recall election the Marxist might have a chance to just pull off a recall effort. Because let’s be honest the radical base is more energized and enthusiastic when it comes to a recall election than the freedom loving side.

    • Ah yes, freedom. A word tossed carelessly around, representing everything that one might not have but wants. The freedom of the road, not thinking about where you’re gonna park your behindicus that night, or the freedom from anyone telling us what to do without realizing we can’t tell THEM what to do. Perhaps we should remember the words of Bobby McGee’s singer, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”
      I’m tired of hearing about freedom. I’d like to hear more about responsibility, and not “personal responsibility” but ” collective responsibility,” the kind we all have to support us all as a whole. If we aren’t in this together, we are all pulling only for ourselves. That’s no way to build a society. That’s the way to build anarchy, where the only law is that which benefits one’s self.

      • Well put Homo Erectus. A community is not constructed of isolated fearful men and women.

        “behindicus”?

      • If you can’t have a personal responsibility, to oneself! How?
        can you have a whole collective, responsibility?

        It takes one! to make a whole. and from that whole? you unite!

        Just a thought?

        And Please! get over the Bobby McGee song, when it gets too [email protected]

        Smiles,

      • Move to North Korea if you want collective responsibility. Nobody is holding you back from getting to live in that collectively minded community that you want so bad. There’s already countries and regime built in the image you so desire. Why do you want to change AMERICA into one of those countries your pushing for. Freedom to move, so move to those countries and stop changing the country I love.

  • This is so stupid. I remember my many years working for oil companies and they were constantly moving managers around in their jobs. It was called “shaking the box” and it was all to see just what they could do. Management is a position of its own and not something that can be learned in school. I feel so sorry for Bronson. This is a perfect example of why we don’t get anything done each year. Just let him lead and complete a task so he can move on to the next one.

    • Maybe his management skills, something that cannot “be learned in school”, need some help.
      Of course we could just let him lead. He may very well lead us off a cliff, but if he puts good, qualified people into support positions, his chances of success increase. That seems to be what the assembly is trying to get him to do.

      • It sounds like the “good, qualified people” are those you and the Assembly can only agree with. Sounds like the Anchorage Assembly is sour that Dunbar didn’t win and so they want Bronson and Anchorage to suffer for it.

  • It’s really going to get interesting in the next 4 months. 5 of those seats are up for re election. Wonder how they plan on answering for the tyrannical Covid mandates. The destruction of small business and local economy. Remember all of those businesses that will never re open? Where exactly did all of the Covid relief funds go? If I were running against them, those are the items I would run on and ask my opponent about it every chance I got. April will be anchorages last chance to turn the page on these people.

    • Sore loser Dunbar and his little band of merry whatever they are, need to look back at last week and see that politicians like them were ousted in rapid fashion. The progressive left got clobbered in the most liberal of cities, and this could (thankfully) happen to the current progressives sitting on the Anchorage Assembly this coming spring.

      It’s disgusting that the assembly feels the need to block the mayor at every avenue. I am not certain what they fear, but that fear must be pretty mighty. Honestly, know one really knows if Mayor Bronson has the skill(s) to help Anchorage move forward and bring our city back, but until April of 2022…we’ll have to be extraordinarily patient.

  • At least Judy lives in Municipality of Anchorage. Unlike Amy Demboski.

  • The requirement for the degree is in the official job announcement.

    “Minimum Qualifications / Substitutions / Preferences
    Master’s degree in Library Science from an American Library Association accredited college or university and seven (7) years of pro­fessional library experience, of which three (3) years were in an administrative capacity in a moderate to large library system. Experience must include development, implementation, and maintenance of library programs and services, building collections and providing service to multicultural communities.”

    Why would Bronson keep pushing for people who just don’t have the minimum qualifications?

  • Many Municipality of Anchorage residents didn’t support Judy Eledge because she lacks master’s degree in library science or ANY experience working in a public library. Good Decision Judy.

    • Many Municipality of Anchorage residents have bought into the Big Lie that libraries are superfluous because of Google and could honestly care less about the whole thing. Unfortunately, professional librarians have aided in promulgating these attitudes by curtailing access to information you can’t Google. I’ve spoken for years about the decimation of Loussac’s Alaska Collection, for example.

      • Agreed about the ‘big lie’ about libraries; and the decimations of the AK Collection. Had you ever spoken to the Alaska Collection’s Librarian, the Director or the Library Advisory Board or Foundation members, who need to hear from community members with input, ideas, additional funding and why the collection is important to current and future generations. Never too late to provide input. A new AK Collection room on 3rd floor under early planning – see Anchorage Library Foundation – Projects. Google can help lead to primary sources, scholarly articles and books, and to special library resources; but the general public doesn’t particularly want those results, or want to spend time reviewing. Everyone seems a bit impatient and wants quick immediate answers at the fingertips; while critical thinking lags behind.

  • You have the government you deserve, Anchorage.

  • The old adage of “you get the government you deserve” is being vividly showcased in Anchorage by their Assembly. They value vindictiveness toward a conservative mayor who dared to get elected over providing sound governance to the people of Anchorage whom they serve. These Assembly members forget that the mayor was elected by ALL the people of Anchorage and not just a relatively small group of voters from their district.

    Why do the people of Anchorage continue to elect such fools? They can do much better.

  • This is a shame. She was my fourth grade teacher, has a long history in education and was more than qualified. But the Anchorage Assembly will block every candidate put forth by Bronson that they can.

  • All future elections must be audited.

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