News from Patrick Flynn


Amendments to the 2010 operating budget were “due” Monday, thereby allowing a review prior to Thursday’s Budget & Finance committee meeting.  Technically any Assembly member can offer an amendment at any point in the process but offering them early offers members and the administration to mull them over and offer input.  In an effort to take advantage of collective wisdom I submitted mine, which amount to a little under $1.65 million, ahead of the deadline.  Here they are:

  • Public transit – $450,000.  This funding would forestall a proposed fare increase and continue early morning and late evening bus service.  I think most of my colleagues agree that public transit plays a critical role in ensuring residents can get and keep jobs, and the added service cost would be partially off-set by added rider revenue.
  • Libraries – $500,000.  While the 2010 work plan would keep the Loussac library open seven days a week, these additional funds are intended to allow branch libraries to remain open more than three or four days a week, and boost the materials budget.  I’m also looking at ways we can leverage volunteer hours to maintain or increase services.
  • Community grants – $697,541.  Covering a gamut of non-governmental services these dollars have historically been used to support organizations like Camp Fire‘s after-school programs, leverage donated medical services through Project Access and provide small grants to local arts & cultural organizations like Alaska Dance Theater.

I sometimes refer to these items as the “other side” of public safety – keeping people in jobs, giving kids constructive opportunities and providing cultural outlets for all residents.  This benefits our community by reducing the likelihood of bad behavior before it starts.  I’m also still looking for more off-sets, cuts elsewhere or additional non-property tax revenues, in order to minimize impacts on taxpayers.  And I know there are others with ideas for amendments that may come forward in the process.

If you’d like the detailed spreadsheet with what I’ve proposed please let me know.



P.S.  Happy Veteran’s Day to the millions of men and women who made and make this sort of political discourse possible.

This contribution was made on Wednesday, 11. November 2009 at 06:25 and was published under the category Fiscal matters. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. Anchorage can’t go wrong investing in these line items. I have seen the benefits of these services first hand. As a child, I discovered a dream within my library that I could escape poverty. As a young adult, I used late buses to get home from college classes and early morning buses to get to work. And in my professional life, I worked in low income housing running a Camp Fire after-school program. The benefits that these line items provide are truly beyond measure.

    Comment: Laura – 12. November 2009 @ 7:40 pm

  2. Patrick-I appreciate your support in trying to keep these programs open!

    Comment: Tasha – 13. November 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  3. It is not the job of government to fund community grants. If a community program has merit then let the community or others who think alike support the program. Community grants from government are essentially bribes from politicians in power to sway a group of like thinking people to support the politician in power. Community grant are stealth bribes that most of the electorate don’t even know about.

    Comment: Frank – 14. November 2009 @ 8:44 am

  4. Frank’s comment reflects a misunderstanding of how grants are used in Anchorage. Traditionally, our local government provides many basic services through non-profit organizations. These entities provide services cheaper than government employees, make better use of volunteers, and attract donations and other grants to supplement the small amount they get from the Muni. By cutting these grants, we cut essentials that people need, and throw away all that other support when organizations fail. Frank’s negativity and lack of knowledge are discouraging, but I’m sure Patrick realizes that the vast majority of Anchorage residents support the kind of items he is supporting.

    Comment: Charles – 15. November 2009 @ 6:33 pm

  5. Patrick, thank you in advance for all of your attention and help with any contact e-mail and letter mail that I sent you regarding the 2010 F. Y. Anchorage City Budget. You and your colleagues have a very difficult and hard pressed vote ahead on Tuesday the 17 of November and I am sure there will be both positive and plenty of negative feedback once Tuesday is in the past.
    There will also be plenty of negative and some semi support once all of this is said and done. I am very appreciative of everything that you have done and will be in contact with you myself after the meeting on the 17th of November. I would remind all whom comment, that you folks are the elected members and that as such I can not hold you responsible for anything that is not a win for me because you and the other Assembly Members get shot down by higher powers. If every citizen could have their way, they would have wallets that overflowed with endless amounts of money and we would all be happy.
    And thus this is the perfect world WE ARE in.

    Comment: Edmund J. Ausman – 17. November 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  6. I think the mayor, coffey, starr and several other assembley members are mistaken in wanting to cut the libraries and buses. The libraries are excellent for studying for courses one may be taking. The busses are necessary to get to and from jobs and interviews so that one can work to improve oneself. I have used both the library and busses in my time of need. They are both important to those not able to drive, banned from driving, or who cannot afford to drive. The libraries are important to families, especially single parent families.

    Comment: donald hennessey – 27. November 2009 @ 11:14 pm

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