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Anchorage to launch form on city website for reporting mask requirement violations

Anchorage City Hall.
Anchorage City Hall.(Jeremy Kashatok/Alaska's News Source)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:41 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Municipality of Anchorage will soon launch a web form on the city website for the public to report violations of its temporary mask requirement.

A spokesperson for Mayor Dave Bronson’s office confirmed Thursday that the administration is working on setting up the web form and said it “should be up and running by the end of the week.”

The city’s current mask requirement, made possible by an emergency ordinance passed earlier this month by the Anchorage Assembly, is set to expire no more than 60 days after it went into effect. The emergency ordinance does not include specific language about how it will be enforced, but says “The Municipality reserves the right to use all available enforcement options to assure compliance with this Emergency Ordinance.”

On Wednesday, Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance and Assembly Vice Chair Christopher Constant sent a letter to Bronson and Municipal Manager Amy Demboski asking for clarification on which city department is responsible for enforcing the ordinance. They also asked who the point of contact is that’s responsible for handling the public’s questions regarding application of and compliance with the emergency ordinance.

“The Assembly is here to assist in educating our community about the masking requirement and getting questions and concerns addressed,” the letter states. “We look forward to the Administration’s cooperation and fulfillment of its obligations to implement this important public health and safety measure.”

In a response to Alaska’s News Source on Thursday, spokesperson Corey Allen Young identified Demboski’s office.

“The Municipal Manager’s office is responsible for receiving and reviewing complaints about mask mandate violations,” Young wrote in an email.

He said the administration is working with the city’s IT department to implement the web form for reporting violations. The form will be on the municipal manager’s page of the city website, Young said.

The original version of an ordinance requiring masking in Anchorage had more specific language regarding enforcement, including fines, but the emergency ordinance that eventually passed was revised and changed after the assembly received public feedback. The revised version replaced the specific enforcement language with the section stating the municipality reserves the right to use “all available enforcement options.”

The emergency ordinance was passed by the assembly during their Oct. 12 meeting. After it was vetoed by Bronson, the assembly voted to override his veto and the ordinance took effect.

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