News from Patrick Flynn

Mayor’s chair?

As followers of matters municipal are aware, there are some questions as to what might happen if Mayor Sullivan becomes Lieutenant Governor Sullivan later this year. I’ll try to keep it simple with the Q&A below but, as with many things, there are a number of potential permutations worthy of consideration.

Will there be a vacancy in the mayor’s office? Only if the mayor resigns which, should he be elected lieutenant governor, he would have to do in order to take his new office.

When would such a vacancy occur? The election is November 4 and the new executive team, whomever they are, will be sworn in during the first week of December. Therefore the mayor would have resign sometime during that interim.

Who becomes acting mayor? Anchorage’s charter dictates that the chair of the Assembly becomes acting mayor. While I am the current chair, the Assembly may reorganize at any time. Here’s how this could manifest itself; the Assembly will meet on November 18 at which point the results of the state election should be known. If the mayor is elected to state office then six (or more) of my colleagues could decide someone else would be better suited to be acting mayor and elect that person as chair prior to the mayor’s resignation.

How long would there be an acting mayor? At least 90 days, as the charter requires at least that much time to elapse prior to a special election called by the Assembly. The last time we faced this circumstance a regular mayoral election was already slated for the following April so no special election was called. That happens to be the case now so if we follow the same course the acting mayor would be in place until July 1 when a new mayor would be sworn in – about seven months.

Will you be the acting mayor? That depends on two factors. First, whether or not the Assembly reorganizes prior to Mayor Sullivan’s hypothetical resignation and, second, whether I’ll have the time. My family and I have talked. I’ve also informed the company for which I work of this potential scenario and, while the response has been generally positive, I have not received definitive permission to take the necessary leave of absence.

Who replaces an acting mayor on the Assembly? Nobody, the Assembly seat remains vacant until the acting mayor returns following the inauguration of an elected mayor. I’ve been thinking about proposing a charter amendment that would allow for a temporary appointment to fill the vacated Assembly seat.

What does an acting mayor do? In my mind the role of an acting mayor is to keep the city running smoothly in anticipation of a transition to an elected mayor.

Hope that helps!



This contribution was made on Saturday, 20. September 2014 at 08:13 and was published under the category Election matters. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

«  –  »


  1. Not only would you be a great “acting,” you’d be a great mayor. Please run.

    Comment: hfree – 16. October 2014 @ 8:15 pm

  2. why does the anchorage school district keep 40 yo 60 million $ on hand without telling the public about it.

    Comment: BUD KNOX – 15. May 2015 @ 2:37 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.



Community councils


Local government


State government


RSS Feeds – Admin


Copyright - Patrick Flynn, All Rights Reserved