Assembly to hire a ‘shadow mayor’ to bypass Bronson and go direct to city staff
JULY 25, 2021 AUTHOR: SUZANNE DOWNING
On the agenda for Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting is an ordinance to hire yet another new position in the municipality that is controlled by the Assembly: A staff assistant to the Assembly who has unfettered access to all municipal employees and all municipal property, without having to go through the executive branch or its leaders, such as the mayor or city manager. …
In practice, this means the staff to the assembly can engage in dialogue with and gather information from city employees who report to the mayor, no matter how deliberative or premature the information may be. Taken to its extreme, the ordinance allows the Assembly staff person to rifle through the desks of the executive branch, literally and figuratively.
“All activities of the municipal government and its various departments” means the Assembly’s shadow mayor can walk into staff meetings or planning meetings without receiving permission. He or she can demand all plans that are being worked on by the executive branch.
The ordinance is being offered by Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance and Vice Chair Chris Constant. It’s apparent that the two leaders on the Assembly have the votes to pass the ordinance, which is, in effect, will create someone who shadows every move of the Bronson Administration so that the liberal Assembly can get ahead of the executive branch.