After Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar was caught trying to get to draft budget documents from the various Anchorage municipal department heads, circumventing the Municipal Manager, the hammer has come down.
Manager Amy Demboski wrote a memo to all employees in the city today, telling them they are not to respond to any requests from the Assembly. All requests must go through her office.
“It continues to be apparent that the Legislative Branch and some of their employees refuse to respect separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches,” Demboski wrote.
She said the Assembly has been utilizing backchannels to gain information, and that they have been impinging on the workload of employees of the city, which is distracting from the missions of many department.
“These willful and intentional efforts to bypass Executive Branch leadership must now be addressed more directly,” Demboski said. She described a process that will “ensure the separation of powers” and ensure the Administration is responsive to the Assembly:
Effective immediately, all communications from the Administration and the Assembly, Assembly Aides, Assembly staff, the Municipal Clerk, Clerk’s office staff, or Assembly Attorney will rest solely with the Municipal Manager, or her designee, should she direct it.
Information requests initiated by an Assembly member, an Assembly aide, or the Assembly attorney, whether orally or in writing, must be forwarded to the Municipal Manager for response.
All Assembly committee reports, requests for attendance at meetings, and request for information must be reviewed by the manager for “operational availability, resource prioritization, and department mission alignment.”
Demboski noted that Assembly members requesting advice and legal opinions from the Municipal attorney should contact the attorney’s office directly and those requests are not covered by her stated guidelines.
Must Read Alaska received a copy of the memo from a city employee: