Mayor Bronson unveils proposed 2022 budget, which would reduce spending by $7.5M

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:07 PM AKDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 9:41 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Friday announced his proposed fiscal year 2022 budget for the city, which would reduce spending by $7.5 million and eliminate 53 municipal positions.

The mayor and members of his administration unveiled the proposed budget during a Friday afternoon press conference. The proposed operating budget of $550 million represents a $7.5 million reduction, or about a 1.3% difference, from the revised 2021 budget of $557.5 million.

Bronson said Friday that services including police, fire and emergency services and the health department were largely untouched in this budget, and that his administration focused on reducing costs in government spending.

“The objective is ... to continue essential service ... public safety service, even as we trim wherever we can to reduce the size of the budget,” Bronson said.

Another goal is to reduce debt incurred over the last several years, according to a Friday press release.

“All of the departments were evaluated in accordance with the expectation of the mayor,” said Karl Raszkiewicz, director of management and budget for the city.

Raszkiewicz said the largest reduction in this budget, a cut of about 14%, came from the mayor’s office.

This proposed budget also eliminates a total of 53 city positions — 34 which are currently vacant and 19 that are filled. Municipal Manager Amy Demboski said two executive level positions have been added, and some positions that were vacant under the last administration that have since been filled.

People who are in the positions subject to being eliminated will have the opportunity to apply for other positions with the Municipality of Anchorage, according to the press release.

During the press conference, Municipal Manager Amy Demboski also said the city will be seeking a 75% reimbursement from the Anchorage School District for the cost of the school resource officer program, which is administered along with the Anchorage Police Department.

“Historically when this was first started it was a 50-50 split between the municipality and the school district,” Demboski said. “And some years later the municipality assumed a full cost of it. We think it’s appropriate to ... allocate costs based on usage, and that’s what we’re attempting to do.”

Later on Friday, Superintendent Deena Bishop released a statement saying the district is committed to keeping the program.

“I had a great conversation with Chief McCoy this afternoon,” she said in the statement. “We agree that this strong, long-standing partnership and shared dedication to student well-being and to our community will not change. The District will closely evaluate the implications of any program funding reductions and looks forward to working with the Mayor’s office as well as the Anchorage Assembly during the budget process.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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