As readers likely know, during the budget amendment process Tuesday night the Assembly added $200,000 to prepare for a 2011 police academy but declined to add a like amount for a 2011 fire academy. Yours truly once again found himself as the “swing” vote on these two items as five of my colleagues voted for both academies and five voted no on both while I vote for the police academy and against the fire academy. Since then I’ve heard from a few folks wondering why.
This evening we held our final work session on first quarter budget amendments with final action slated for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24, after which we’ll set the mill levies that determine how much you’ll pay in property taxes. Despite offering in excess of 100 adjustments, some up, some down, administration officials seemed reticent to endorse any of the dozen or so proposed Assembly amendments. One of the tools employed to discourage budget increments is a spreadsheet forecasting a 2011 budgetary shortfall around $19.8 million
A question on political insiders’ minds, at least those that haven’t been focused on the usual end-of-the-legislative-session drama in Juneau, is who will be elected Assembly chair after three new members are sworn in on Tuesday. To explain, the Anchorage Charter dictates an annual leadership vote occurring after each municipal election so we need to conduct first a vote for chair, then for vice-chair, on April 20. In fact, it’s the only substantive task on our agenda. And it’s complicated.
Here we go, another set of generally disjointed topics jumbled together and called a blog entry…
Thanks to all those who participated in the third edition of Assembly insider baseball! Amongst the many great guesses the results ended up in a three-way tie between a member of the fourth estate, a former municipal employee and someone required to follow Assembly activities far too closely. They all nailed seven of the 12 questions. Here’s the inside scoop: (more…)
It’s been over a week since the Assembly received a report from the Department of Law addressing some of the issues regarding the life insurance policy benefiting former Mayor George Sullivan’s trust. We’ve also received an advisory opinion from the Board of Ethics concluding that current Mayor Dan Sullivan erred in not disclosing his position as trustee, something that was not made known until after Assembly action on disbursal of the funds in question. And at our next meeting we’ll take up Harriet Drummond’s proposal to seek external legal advice on the matter.
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