No public allowed: Assembly to meet on purchase of four buildings for vagrants - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
HomePoliticsNo public allowed: Assembly to meet on purchase of four buildings for vagrants

No public allowed: Assembly to meet on purchase of four buildings for vagrants

MAYOR BANS IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE BY TAXPAYERS

The Anchorage Assembly will meet today (Monday) at 6 pm at the Loussac Library’s Assembly Chambers to continue the discussion of the use of federal CARES Act funds for the mayor’s plan to purchase four buildings in Anchorage and convert them into a massive network of services for vagrants.

A group known as “Save Anchorage” plans to be at the Loussac Library at 5 pm to greet the Assembly members as they arrive.

But the public will not be allowed inside the building to witness the proceedings because Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has banned public presence at Assembly meetings.

Watch the meeting through a link at: http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx The meeting also will be live on Channel 9.

The Assembly will be taking up the following ordinances:

Ordinance No. AO 2020-66, an ordinance authorizing the acquisition by purchase, or lease with option to purchase, of real property legally described as: Lot 7A Block C Heather Meadows Subdivision (Plat 77-149) (PID 009-161-51), Lots 1 – 6 Block C Rosebud Subdivision (Plat P-224A), (PID 009-161-32, 009-161-33, 009-161-34, 009-161-35, 009-161-36, 009-161-37), Block 4A Central City Subdivision (Plat 76-245) (PID 003-241-29), the improvements on Lot 1 Block 33C USS 408 (Plat 84-374) (PID 003-073-33), and Tract C Green Valley Resubdivision No. 1 (Plat 73-210) (PID 010-193-22) (Properties) with aggregate acquisition and renovation costs not to exceed $22,500,000, Real Estate Department, Assembly Chair Rivera, and Assembly Members Zaletel and Constant.

Ordinance No. AO 2020-66(S), a an ordinance authorizing the acquisition by purchase, or lease with option to purchase, of real property legally described as: Lot 7a Block C Heather Meadows Subdivision (Plat 77-149) (PID 009-161-51), Lots 1 – 6 Block C Rosebud Subdivision (Plat P-224A), (PID 009-161-32, 009-161-33, 009-161-34, 009-161-35, 009-161-36, 009-161-37), Block 4a Central City Subdivision (Plat 76-245) (PID 003-241-29), the improvements on Lot 1 Block 33C USS 408 (Plat 84-374) (PID 003-073-33), and Tract C Green Valley Resubdivision No. 1 (Plat 73-210) (PID 010-193-22) (properties) with aggregate acquisition and renovation costs Not To Exceed $22,500,000., Real Estate Department, Assembly Chair Rivera, and Assembly Members Zaletel and Constant.

Ordinance No. AO 2020-66(S-1), a an ordinance authorizing the acquisition by purchase, or lease with option to purchase, of real property legally described as: Lot 7a Block C Heather Meadows Subdivision (Plat 77-149) (PID 009-161-51), Lots 1 – 6 Block C Rosebud Subdivision (Plat P-224A), (PID 009-161-32, 009-161-33, 009-161-34, 009-161-35, 009-161-36, 009-161-37), Block 4a Central City Subdivision (Plat 76-245) (PID 003-241-29), the improvements on Lot 1 Block 33C USS 408 (Plat 84-374) (PID 003-073-33), and Tract C Green Valley Resubdivision No. 1 (Plat 73-210) (PID 010-193-22) (properties) with aggregate acquisition and renovation costs Not To Exceed $22,500,000, Real Estate Department, Assembly Members Zaletel, Constant, and Kennedy.
(PUBLIC HEARING WAS CLOSED 7-22-2020.  ACTION WAS POSTPONED FROM 7-22-2020.)

Assembly Chair Felix Rivera wrote to Anchorage residents saying he is likely to support the proposal, although the matter may be postponed until Aug. 11. He has questions for the Berkowitz Administration that he wants answered. The questions he provided are:

  • What are the costs of renovations? Does $2-3M seem low? Is the timeline including renovations doable?   
  • What are the expected operating costs and how will we pay for them?   
  • How did you narrow down from the many other potential buildings mentioned?    
  • How many spaces are currently available in existing facilities and what is the current/expected in the fall/winter need?   
  • How does this proposed ordinance fit into the Treasury guidelines for usage of the CARES Act funds?    
  • When will these facilities be up and running?    
  • How will you ensure safe transportation to and from facilities? How much back and forth would there be?   
  • How will you ensure that any possible negative impacts to neighborhoods or businesses are mitigated?    
  • How can we incorporate community feedback during the RFP process?    

“If the administration is unable to address these points to my satisfaction, I will likely support an effort to postpone this item to the meeting of August 11 to allow more time to flesh out this proposal,” Rivera wrote.

“All of this said, I will likely support the proposal, whether on Monday or August 11. As I stated before, the need is undeniable and the opportunity to make live-saving changes to how we handle homelessness within the Municipality isn’t one we can pass up. It should also be noted that this proposal, if carried out correctly, will have tremendous positive impacts on public safety, which is a primary concern I heard from many,” Rivera continued.

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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

  • Save Anchorage? Democrats use these kind of monikers to appear magnanimous, when in fact it’s true effect is the opposite. People are getting wise to the ways of Democrats and mainstream media. Destroy Anchorage is really what they intend.

    • Are there going to be parking spaces available for their shopping carts?

    • Save Anchorage is the group that formed that are AGAINST the democratic idiots!

  • Rivera is absolutely incorrect in his assessment that this idiocy is in any way going to have a positive impact on public safety. This is going to be throwing good money after bad. The millions already spent on “homelessness” int he last 5 years has done nothing but add to the problem by making vagrancy an accepted way of life on Anchorage streets.

  • What a bunch of crap. Just ram it down our throats without a plan or a mandate from the public.
    “Lets just hope it will work out…”.

    Jeez

    • I have been listening to this for 2.5 hours and have heard no concrete details about these “programs” that would be worthy of an informed decision to spend millions of dollars on these “treatment centers” – good grief – let the public see some facts and figures before ramming it down our throats. All I’ve heard so far is conjectures on how this might work. I have to turn it off!

      “We would expect to have some amount of reimbursement for these ….” A quote from what I just heard – the public needs a transcript of this session if they are even interested in what this Administration/Assembly is doing! The Administration is totally unprepared to present this case in a credible manner!

  • Welcome the Dictatorship of the Anchorage Assembly. We need to have a good old barn burning and forcibly remove theses dictaors from the assembly. No Public Input this whole thing is a shame and the State AG needs to step in and rid the city of these Stalinist people

  • hey, tonight there is suppose to be an Alleva Parcels purchase. Agnew/Beck did a $50,000 study related to its impacts and benefits to the muni, After gathering all the data conclusion was to buy the parcels! Fairview Community Council approved, environmental was clean, even the 3rd av Radicals didn’t object. These parcels had due process and due deligence. Appraisal was 1/2 paid for by seller, no commissions were paid. No zoning change needed. Adjacent to BFS to used for social services . We will see tonight!

  • That’s a violation of Alaska’s Open Meeting Law. They can not legally meet without allowing public access.

  • Felix you support and fund it with your money. You should buy a place in your neighborhood and let them stay or in your yard. Walk to walk or are you just a pampered politician .

  • What a convenient way to stifle opposition. Another leftist lesson for us commoners. Anchorage residents can be sure the deal is already made. All the hearings and “testimony” is so the little tyrant can claim “fairness” in the procedure, not that he cares. The worst is yet to come, Anchorage.
    Where is that recall petition and ACLU? Oh, I forgot. ACLU is a leftist tool.

  • I’ll take taxation without representation for 1000 Alex.

    • Well – they just took a “20-minute break” after 2 hours of blithering and social posturing about where the money is coming from and not a word that I heard about property taxes unless property taxes were included in the “municipality’s responsibilities”. BOHICA.

    • Finally, they discussed the revenue options and should post them online. .

  • Would you please give me a list of what is coming up on Tuesday in the Assembly where no in-person attendantce is allowed.
    I know about AD 2020-66 and AD 2020-65 but have heard they are going to vote on hiring another equality guru.
    I do not have a functional computer at this time and just coming off cataract surgery, so hard to read the muni page on my phone screen.Thanks.

  • So when the public is against what you want just bar them from speaking. Use the pandemic to advance your policies.

  • If God were to give the world an enema, Anchorage would be the place for the hose.

  • I am watching the “Town Meeting” (minus the town residents) and I am absolutely astounded how unprepared the assembly is for this meeting. They have zero idea about what the cost will be to house people: no idea about transportation, how or what it will cost: no idea about renovation costs. People have been invited in to provide testimony but the public is excluded. These people are dangerous and clueless. They should resign their positions.
    Some of the assembly has stated they will vote for this madness either today or August 11th.
    Citizens be damned.

  • Rivera will most likely vote for it, he says. Yet he has all these questions. Bet your bottom dollar he doesn’t give a rip about answers. $2-3 million to renovate. I call BS on that. The cost of materials and labor has gone up. You cannot get work done in this town. They’re all busy. What a bunch of crap. I say take some of those homeless folks and bus them to his place and Meg’s and let them set up their tents there. Holden Lion is a great place if you’re looking to kill off a bunch of folks. Busiest intersection in town.

  • ‘Free” stuff paid for by tax payers must come at a cost.
    Why does the government spend millions on nutritional studies and not require balanced meals for those who receive taxpayer-funded food?
    Why does the government spend millions on medical research and allow drug and alcohol use for those receiving taxpayer funded medical care?
    If people want to live like socialists they should have socialist rules to follow.
    Sure, some people have special needs and need to be taken care of by society but there are way too many able-bodied people out there with their hand out. These people need to be identified and cut off. If they want the rights and freedoms of America they need to contribute to society

  • Ethan to the general public: “Shut up, he explained.” Cheers –

  • Complaining by all. Solutions by none.

    • Well, if you have a solution, let’s hear it. Most of us who complain, I believe, are ordinary citizens who live our lives day to day, dutifully pay our taxes, and may have been blindsided by the intensity of the power moves against ordinary, law-abiding, homeowners by this current administration. Solutions are yet to come, and I fear some of them won’t be pretty. We have a right to complain since we are paying the bill for the outrages against those of us who are forced by law to support this travesty of an administration with our hard-earned dollars.

  • How is this a responsible spending of Cares Act funding meant to help mitigate the impact of the corona virus? The description of the Cares Act is: “The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.”

    The Anchorage Assembly intends to spend the money on a population which has seen little impact from the virus, and take it away from deserving families and businesses which badly need assistance!

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