News from Patrick Flynn

The unkindest cut

This evening – Tuesday, February 17 – marked the first of two “special” Assembly meetings scheduled to address Anchorage‘s estimated $17 million budget shortfall.  (I didn’t find it very special, mostly because I missed my wife’s birthday, but no one forced me to take this job.)

As I begin to type this, 90 minutes into a meeting slated to run three hours, we’ve done very little save listening to five of my colleagues express varying levels of frustration with the Administration’s recent trend of internally debating budget cuts and then announcing them without Assembly participation.  No actual budget discussions though.

Still, there’s a good point here somewhere.  While it’s always messy to involve politicians in any decision-making process, we Assembly members might be able to offer an occasional bit of insight the Administration might find beneficial.  And, should our advice instead be useless (not an impossible scenario to imagine), then at least there would be ten Assembly members and an acting Mayor to share the blame.

So what’s going on here? At least some of my colleagues feel that our acting Mayor is acting in a unilateral manner in an effort to demonstrate leadership skills that will appeal to voters in the mayoral election in April.  If so, this may be a wise calculation on his part, though I doubt it.  If this isn’t a wise calculation, I suspect Mr. Claman may find a very different Assembly when he returns to our ranks in July.  Either way, it makes for entertaining political theater!

More later.


This contribution was made on Tuesday, 17. February 2009 at 20:04 and was published under the category Fiscal matters. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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1 Comment

  1. You have that right! It makes for entertaining political theater. Tell the Mrs. happy birthday!

    Comment: Jillanne – 17. February 2009 @ 10:52 pm

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