News from Patrick Flynn

Odds & ends, more again

Yes, I know, it’s been a while since my last post.  I’ve been pretty busy, though, so here’s an update as to what’s been going on:

Next Port committee meeting:

It took a while to coordinate all the schedules but the Port committee is slated to re-convene on Thursday, October 14, at 9 am in City Hall, room 155.  For a preview of the agenda see my last post on this issue.

The mystery of the missing dumpsters:

One of my neighbors, who owns a couple duplexes and lives in one of them, sent me a note when Solid Waste Services not only told her they would no longer provide dumpster service but also that – after two months of “review” – they wouldn’t allow her to use another local provider for dumpster service.  Since that sounded a lot like the time SWS told another neighbor they wouldn’t provide a dumpster for his remodel project I introduced an ordinance to address the matter (note: there’s an “S”, or substitute version, circulating – it’ll be on-line next week).  Since then I’ve delved further into SWS operations and learned some interesting information.  Whatever the outcome of this particular proposal I suspect I’ll be working on more SWS-related topics in the near future.

Homeless camps:

While the Assembly passed its third homeless camp abatement ordinance last Tuesday we failed to address the lingering constitutional concerns, which is why I was the lone “no” vote.  I’ve been discussing homeless issues since long before the recent series of fatalities propelled the issue to the forefront and I am concerned that we keep passing laws, like this one, that have good intent but fail to actually provide the police with a usable tool.  This latest proposal may allow folks to castigate the ACLU for perceived obstructionism, but ignores the fact that the ACLU has repeatedly tried to help craft a workable – and constitutional – ordinance.  For other perspectives on the matter see articles in the Anchorage Press and Anchorage Daily Planet.

Liquor laws:

My idea to codify the Conditional Use requirements for downtown liquor stores generated significant interest, not all of it positive.  A meeting with Brown Jug representatives revealed concerns, especially with the restrictions on sales of particular products, as they feel similar conditions in various parts of town could complicate distribution chains (a legitimate point).  To that end, they sent a colleague to the South Addition community council and convinced that neighborhood not to seek to be part of the ordinance I’m developing.  Meanwhile Government Hill community council expressed interest in being part of the ordinance but, because Government Hill has an existing package store with another likely to move in soon (unlike South Addition, which has no existing stores), I suggested the council work with operators to develop practices that would work for all concerned.  I further conveyed Brown Jugs’ concern about product restrictions and suggested they might want to focus on management practices.

Downtown Improvement District:

As predicted, the tussle over whether to continue and expand the DID got going quickly.  Assembly members received various letters of support and opposition, including two referencing potential litigation, in addition to some testimony on the 14th.  Things will pick up as we get closer to the 28th when we conduct our final public hearing, especially since it appears there are more than enough votes to approve the expanded district.


On top of all that, the mayor is slated to release his proposed 2011 budget on October 1.  That sets off a two-month-plus process where we’ll work to strike the always-tricky balance between providing an appropriate level of public services and keeping taxes as low as possible.

With that I’ll sign off.  Enjoy the foggy/sunny fall weather!



This contribution was made on Sunday, 19. September 2010 at 16:00 and was published under the category Fiscal matters, Neighborhoods, Other, Port committee. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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