No special election for acting mayor of Anchorage - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, April 23, 2021
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No special election for acting mayor of Anchorage

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Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson will remain Anchorage’s chief executive for eight months.

With just three votes in favor of a special election to serve out the term of the shortened term of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, the Assembly chose to skip the special election and just move on, and allow Quinn-Davidson to serve over 20 percent of Berkowitz’ elected term. Berkowitz resigned after revelations came to light over his relationship with a reporter.

A regular election for mayor will be held April 6, but the successful candidate will not take office until July 1.

Assembly members Jamie Allard, Crystal Kennedy and John Weddleton voted in favor of a special election. The six others on the Assembly voted it down: Suzanne LaFrance, Chris Constant, Meg Zalatel, Kameron Perez-Verdia, Forrest Dunbar and Pete Peterson. Quinn-Davidson, who represents West Anchorage on the Assembly, did not vote, as she is acting mayor.

The municipal charter is clear that a special election must be held, and Assembly member Jamie Allard read aloud the relevant section of the charter that illustrates that point. She contends it is a violation of the charter to not hold a special election.

“I don’t believe that the charter actually gives the Assembly an option,” said Assembly member Kennedy during the Wednesday meeting. “But it’s actually much more specific than it’s made out to be.”

The subjectivity being used by the Assembly to decide to not hold an election isn’t supported anywhere in the charter, Kennedy said.

“There is nothing in the charter says it depends on the mood of the voter or the cost, she said. “Actually we’ve made the process of elections so simple, we practically hand carry the ballot to the voter. That’s one advantage of this mail in ballot. The right to vote is so fundamental and the role of mayor is the highest office in our local government, so we need to respect it as such, we shouldn’t be taking this so lightly.”

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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

  • Lawsuit time. I would hate to be representing the Assembly on this one. That said, the current posse of Alaskan judges will help secure the fate of those on the Left by any means necessary.

  • No surprise there. Democrats do whatever they want and to hell with laws, charters, rules, or whatever. As sure as the sun rises, there will be few or no consequences for this lawless action. The rules are established, but penalties for breaking them are not— it is simply believed that if written policy is available, then it will be followed by everyone involved. These people make me sick.

  • City Attorney is dead wrong and they ate in Viloation of the city Charter. The Assembly needs to be protested at their houses hound them where ever. Time to use the same tactics on them the left uses on us

  • Where is the state supreme court? Where is the lawyers?

  • This assembly will continue it’s dictatorship until the citizens band together, hire a lawyer, and have them removed. (c)A vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled at a regular or special election held not less than 90 days from the time the vacancy occurs. If less than 90 days remain in the term when the vacancy occurs, the vacancy shall not be filled. When a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, the chair of the assembly shall serve as acting mayor until a successor is elected and takes office. The acting mayor has the veto power, but may not vote on assembly action. The assembly by ordinance shall provide for further succession to the office of acting mayor.
    This is clearly stating a special election shall be held because the time left in the mayoral term is more than 90 days. The “regular or special” language covered the less than 90 days remaining, regular election, or more than 90 days remaining, special election scenarios. The fact that these idiots choose to reconfigure the punctuation in attempt to disenfranchise the citizens is criminal.

  • We the people have had just about enough of the tyrants on the Assembly. Other than constant complaining, just what can We The People do to enforce laws and Charter that they disregard? I think it is time for action. Sign me up.

  • Correct me if I am wrong, but are they not violating the same charter that the governor states that stops him from interfering? As our new, soon to be illegitimately elected Dr. Gross says, grow “some “. Who is being disinfranchized now?

  • Acting mayor, but not a real one.

  • Unbelievable!

  • Just move the next election up to 2-1-21 and have the next person start the job on 3-1.

    There solved.

  • They have to follow the charter or they are illegitimate. A group that does not follow it’s own rules is not lawful or legal. They can not represent themselves. They were elected to serve not rule.

  • Bill Clinton would say, “It depends on your definition of the word ‘shall.”

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