The Anchorage Assembly tonight will likely take up a proposed ordinance intended to crack down on all dissent from any of its members and from the public, and give vast authority to the Assembly chair to control the outcome of meetings.
The proposed ordinance makes severe changes to how the meetings of the Assembly will be conducted:
Establishment of a seating chart, arrangement of chambers. The chair shall have the authority to establish a seating chart for individuals participating in an Assembly meeting, and to prescribe how the physical space of a premise used for an assembly meeting may be used.
The liberal Assembly has recently attempted to move the mayor and his staff to a lower position in the Assembly room, which is a symbolic move that exposes the mayor to safety issues.
Prohibited items. The chair shall have the authority to prohibit members of the public from bringing dangerous or distracting items to Assembly premises, or to reguire an item to be removed from Assembly premises if it is being used to create an actual disturbance.
Recently, members of the public have brought in small American flags and waved them.
Removal for actual disturbance. The chair shall have the right to order a person to be removed from a meeting for creating an actual disturbance to the meeting.
Direction to security. The chair shall have the right to direct security guards at Assembly chambers, in furtherance of Assembly meeting purposes.
The security guards are now under the authority of the mayor.
Signage. The chair shall authorize signage posted at Assembly meetings, related to the Assembly meeting.
Safety rules. The chair may adopt rules to promote the safety of members and attendees of assembly meetings.
Dilatory motions, points of order, and reguests for information. The chair shall rule out of order motions, points of order, and reguests for information that are dilatory.
In recent meetings, Assemblywoman Jamie Allard has asked a lot of questions of testifying members of the public. This has made the liberal majority angry.
Non-germane reguests for information. The chair shall rule that a request for information is out of order if it is not germane to the pending motion or public hearing.
Recess. The chair may temporarily recess a meeting for convenience to restore order or to resolve a technical issue.
Committee assignments. The chair shall appoint assembly members to subcommittees of the assembly, and appoint a member to chair or members to co-chair each subcommittee.
Office assignments. The chair shall assign members office space.
Direction to municipal clerk. The chair shall provide direction to the municipal clerk.
The new rules also state that an individual who is testifying “may use a portion of their allocated time to engage in silent protest, but while doing so, must not prevent the assembly from receiving other testimony while the individual’s silent protest continues.”
Recently, some members of the public have used their three minutes to stage silent protest.
“Questions posed by assembly members should be to provide clarification or additional information on testimony provided. Members shall not engage in debate with members of the public. Questions should not be used as an attempt to lengthen or expand the testimony of an individual. Assembly members shall use restraint and be considerate of the meeting time of the Assembly in exercising the option to pose questions. The chair may intervene if a member is violating the spirit of this subsection, or if questions become so numerous as to impair expeditious conduct of the public hearing.”
Other authorities to be granted to the mayor are in the document below. The meeting starts at 5 pm at the Loussac Library ground floor on Nov. 23: