If you’ll indulge me a bit, I’d like to divert away from Assembly business for a moment and report an exciting development in the race for the Anchorage School Board; my good friend Gretchen Guess filed her letter of intent this week. We haven’t talked about it but I’m guessing she’ll seek Seat D, currently held by School Board President John Steiner, who is serving his third term and cannot run again.
One of my former co-workers was known for several catch phrases including, “Sometimes ya gotta go backward before you can go forward.” So, with your indulgence, today’s post begins with a little history (or you can read the longer version here).
If you’re among those wondering about the repercussions faced by Anchorage Fire Department Chief Mark Hall for his most recent transgressions, you likely know that the Assembly met with senior administration officials in executive session on Friday, January 7, to discuss the issue. Executive sessions are, by law, confidential, as are many other personnel-related matters so I can’t provide any information we learned. That said, I share the feelings of frustration expressed by many.
With all the heat and light (pun intended) surrounding the New Year’s Eve fireworks issue, readers may be forgiven if they haven’t heard much about the so-called “Taxpayer Protection Act,” a charter amendment introduced by Chris Birch and wholeheartedly endorsed by the Municipal Taxpayer’s League. If eight Assembly members vote yes and the Anchorage voters subsequently grant approval in April then the following language would be added to Anchorage’s charter (our local constitution):
The Assembly’s decision to lift the ban on fireworks from 9:30 pm to 1 am on New Year’s Eve generated more e-mail traffic than I’ve seen in a long time. Dozens and dozens of residents throughout Anchorage have contacted me to register complaints, like:
As mentioned previously, I’ve been awaiting a letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding their review of the Port of Anchorage’s expansion project. The letter has arrived (I was cc’d), and here’s how it read:
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