Anchorage mayor-elect announces homelessness, budget transition team leaders
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson announced his picks to lead his homelessness and budget review teams on Tuesday, a month before he is set to take office on July 1.
Bronson named Cheryl Frasca as the leader of his team reviewing the municipality’s budget and Dr. John Morris as the leader of the transition team tasked with developing a strategy to address homelessness in Anchorage.
“Cheryl Frasca brings a wealth of experience in public finances, having led the Office of Management and Budget at both the state and local level,” Bronson said during Tuesday’s news conference.
Frasca served as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the state from 2002-06, and in the same role for the city of Anchorage from 2000-02 and from 2009-13, according to her biography for her position as a member of the Commonwealth North board of directors. She serves as co-chair of the Fiscal Policy Study Group at the membership-based nonprofit organization.
“Over the next few weeks, Cheryl will be reviewing the current operating and capital budgets to develop recommendations for revisions and potential changes that may be necessary to ensure Anchorage maintains a strong bond rating and is in compliance with the voter mandated tax cap,” Bronson said. “As I stated during my campaign, my administration will bring back a budgeting process that is focused on cost effective government.”
Bronson also announced Morris, a local anesthesiologist, as a member of his transition team leading the development of Bronson’s strategy on homelessness.
“Beginning July 1, my administration will be taking a new approach to help the Anchorage homeless community ... Dr. Morris is an esteemed local physician dedicated to providing compassionate and efficient sheltering and treatment for our homeless population,” Bronson said.
Morris, originally from West Virginia, has lived in Anchorage since 2015, according to a bio provided by the Bronson transition team.
Bronson said he liked Morris’ plan for addressing homelessness in the city. When asked about that plan, Morris said it is still changing.
“The first part of the plan is partnerships,” he said. “We’re going around and we’re talking to stakeholders, people that are doing shelter work here in town, and we’re asking them what’s working and what we might be able to do to make it better and easier for them, and until that process is done, we’re not going to release any of the details of the plan because it changes.”
In step with his messaging on the campaign trail, Bronson said law enforcement will play a role in part of the plan.
“We’ve got to encourage people to not live on our streets anymore after we’ve provided the shelter space that we’re required to provide them,” Bronson said. “And yes, law enforcement will take a front seat on one portion of the overall homeless issue.”
Bronson said during a previous news conference that his transition team leaders are expected to turn in written reports before he takes office on July 1, and those reports will be made available to the public.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information and quotes.
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