An acquaintance who resides well north of my hometown once observed that the difference between Fairbanks and Anchorage is that everybody from Fairbanks has been to Anchorage. Point well taken – many Southcentral Alaskans never have, or take, the opportunity to experience other parts of our great state. I consider myself fortunate that various aspects of my work have afforded me the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time in Southeast and Interior Alaska, and a little time in Southwest and Northwest Alaska. Never been to Barrow, but I digress.
Snowzilla is terrorizing Airport Heights, Alaska travelers are stranded all along the western seaboard and the world economy is dropping faster than the mercury in Fairbanks. And yet, despite all that, the holidays are upon us and we can take some time to be thankful for the blessings of family & friends. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a joyous holiday season and look forward to our new year together.
Tuesday evening’s Assembly meeting is shaping up to be a barnburner. Long, potentially contentious and chock full of intrigue. Unless you choose to ignore local government or have been living in a cave you’re surely aware of at least some of the issues before us. But, in the interest of disclosure, here are some highlights: (more…)
In the past few weeks I’ve received many e-mails and a few calls regarding fiscal matters. Some have focused on the 2009 MOA budget, others on labor contracts in general and a few on specific labor contracts. Some favor added spending, some want to see cuts but very few have risen to my challenge to describe how they would proceed from a macro perspective. So I’ll get more specific.
After a lot of discussion, questions and debate, the Assembly ratified two previously expired contracts last night. The first, which covers the Anchorage Municipal Employees Association (think clerks, librarians and planners), expired in 2007 and will run through 2012, with wage re-openers in 2011 and 2012. In other words, it’s essentially a two year deal with two one-year options.
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