The Anchorage Assembly is preparing to vote on a contract that would award a strategic planning contract concerning the city’s alcohol tax to a company Assemblywoman Anna Brawley works at when not attending to Anchorage Assembly business.
The grant is worth $194,000 and is intended to study uses of the alcohol tax that voters approved in 2020, which is a 5% sales tax to be used to help the inebriates and addicts get help with their addictions, serve the homeless, and provide funding for police and public safety specific to domestic violence.
While Brawley was running for the open seat against Brian Flynn, the Anchorage Daily News assisted the Democrat-leaning candidate by pointing out that Flynn is married to the city’s purchasing director, and thus would have a conflict of interest.
The newspaper downplayed Brawley’s own conflict of interest working at a consultancy that receives many major contracts from the city. Brawley said earlier this year that she stopped working on any projects related to the city and would recuse herself from any vote pertaining to the company. According to her LinkedIn account, she still works at Agnew-Beck.
Another member with an even bigger conflict of interest is Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel, who runs the largest homeless services nonprofit in the state.
Zaletel’s group, Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, is continuously awarded grants from the Assembly, and she makes a handsome six-figure salary at ACEH, in addition to the more than
$36,000 $60,000 said she gets annually as an Assembly member.
ACEH receives close to three quarters of a million dollars from the city budget annually appropriated by the Assembly, in addition to federal and private grants.
See information about the agenda item, to be taken up Tuesday by the Assembly, at this link.
The Assembly meets at 5:30 pm on the ground floor of the Loussac Library.