News from Patrick Flynn

Holiday chores

This evening’s Assembly meeting should be mercifully brief as the only items to consider are on the consent agenda, meaning they are either relatively minor or  substantive matters are only for introduction with discussion and debate scheduled to occur at a future meeting.  And, after that, the Assembly essentially takes a hiatus until after the first of the year.  That doesn’t mean we won’t be working, and I have a couple projects that’ll keep me busy.

The first deals with a charter amendment slated for introduction tonight, but let me back up a bit.  As discussed previously, Assembly members sit on a variety of community organization boards as guests or ex-officio members.  Among those upon which I sit, along with Ernie Hall, is the Anchorage Community Development Authority.  ACDA is perhaps best known for its role in aiding development of municipal properties (e.g. the Glenn Square Mall in Mountain View and Northpointe Bluff on Government Hill) but also happens to manage the city’s downtown parking facilities, a function inherited when the Anchorage Parking Authority disbanded back in the 90’s.

Those who recall APA’s demise likely know that nowadays parking tickets can only be written by sworn police officers, even though ACDA handles all the administrative aspects (collecting the fines, coordinating court dates, etc.).  It’s a spectacularly inefficient use of police time, and tends to irritate both downtown merchants & customers when parking spots don’t rotate very frequently.  Customers can’t find parking spots, which frustrates them, and therefore are less likely to patronize downtown businesses, which concerns the business community.

With that in mind, at the request of the ACDA board Mr. Hall & I are sponsoring the aforementioned charter amendment that would allow the Assembly to assign responsibility for downtown parking enforcement to another municipal entity (the expectation is that ACDA would be that entity).  Note that they would only be able to enforce parking violations (not, for example, expired registration tags) and only in the downtown area (Ship Creek, to Gambell Street, to 10th Avenue to M Street).  In other words, no parking enforcers issuing citations for cars parked at Costco with studded tires on May 16 – those sorts of violations would remain within the purview of the police department.  So we’ll see where that goes.

The other matter that’ll keep me busy is our legislative program, where we offer policy and budgetary suggestions to the state legislature.  The mayor presented his draft earlier in the month and we’ll be gathering proposed amendments from all Assembly members in preparation for a Legislative Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 5, at 10 am.  From there we’ll likely develop an S version to present at a work session on Friday, January 7, so the whole thing can be approved at our January 11 meeting in time for the 2011 session, which begins January 18.

That’s all for today, and if I don’t happen to author another post in the near future, here’s wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season!



This contribution was made on Tuesday, 14. December 2010 at 10:30 and was published under the category Coming events. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. Patrick – I wish you luck with your Charter amendment!!! I agree wholeheartedly that parking tickets are a complete waste of APD’s time and talent – especially in these hard times when just getting enough officers to do the hard stuff is so difficult. If here is anything that Community Councils can do, please ask – I would hope that they all would back this amendment.

    Comment: Niki Burrows – 15. December 2010 @ 1:42 am

  2. Pat
    Thanks for all the hard work this past year. I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Comment: Tom Wescott – 18. December 2010 @ 6:19 pm

  3. Bring back the Parking Authority. You break the law your fined. Period. We have laws for a reason, if you don’t like the law, change it. Don’t subvert it. Just say’in. Thanks.

    Comment: Matt Burkkholder – 22. December 2010 @ 8:53 pm

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