News from Patrick Flynn

Around the horn

Summer in Alaska means there’s lots to do, which usually means less focus on matters political (probably a good thing).  Still, there are quite a few activities going on so we’ll go around the horn with a quick synopsis:

Community councils:

Most community councils take the summer off and reconvene in September, which is the case for Downtown and Government Hill.  South Addition holds a June meeting, slated for this coming Thursday (June 16), while Mountain View and Fairview meet throughout the summer, though they take off a month every now and again.  And hats off to Fairview for their terrific street party yesterday – see all the details on their FB page.

Title 21:

We’ve seen a steady drumbeat of e-mail and other communications asking the Assembly to formally adopt the provisionally-adopted updates to Title 21, the section of municipal code governing land use and building standards.  While it’s taken years of effort, many preceding my tenure on the Assembly, to get to this point the process has paused as the current administration is taking one final look at the body of work prior to submitting it to the Assembly for final approval.  To that end the mayor hired a contractor, former assemblyman Dan Coffey, to conduct that review and this makes some folks rather uncomfortable.

My read of the situation is that we likely lack six votes to adopt the whole schmear prior Mr. Coffey completing his work and we certainly lack the eight votes necessary to overcome a near-certain mayoral veto.  My assumption is that Dan will recommend changes to the mayor, most of those changes will be approved by the mayor and legislation reflecting those changes will be introduced.  Following that we’ll have a vigorous debate on a series of amendments seeking to restore decisions made previously (by the Assembly and its Title 21 committee) before completing the process later this summer (I hope).

Homeless camps:

As you’ve certainly read in the paper or seen on the news, the city is working to clear out homeless camps.  One aspect of this process is engaging the social service community to offer help to those who are homeless with the goal of not simply moving people from one place to the next, but helping them get back on their feet.  The majority of these agencies are non-profit, so they depend on donations to deliver services and do so in an incredibly efficient manner.  Because this initiative is likely to increase demand for their work I’d encourage all readers to consider a donation to your charity of choice – it may make the difference between your neighborhood park being cleaned up temporarily or permanently.

Community contributions:

Speaking of charitable donations, a huge kudos to Rick & Cyndee Fox for their stunningly generous donation to the United Way of Anchorage.  I got to know the Fox family when Rick and I worked together running the United Way’s annual workforce campaign and I’ve always been impressed with their dedication to our community.

Rick and Cyndee are like a lot of people in Anchorage who came here for professional reasons and stayed on for personal ones.  They’re both from the south, and Rick still loves to visit Louisiana for fishing and fun, but I remember thanking Rick for staying in our city after he’d retired from Shell and could’ve gone anywhere in the world.  He responded that Anchorage was just small enough a community for him to be comfortable and just large enough for Cyndee – a sentiment that stuck a chord with me.  Our town will never be all things to all people but we enjoy a terrific and diverse quality of life that attracts good people who do good things in our community, and that’s just right.



This contribution was made on Sunday, 12. June 2011 at 10:15 and was published under the category Neighborhoods. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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