Discussions continue on ordinance that could establish process to remove a mayor from office

Conversations about an ordinance that could allow a mayor to be removed for breach of public trust continued July 8 at an Anchorage Assembly work session.
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:22 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Conversations about an ordinance that could allow a mayor to be removed for breach of public trust continued July 8 at an Anchorage Assembly work session.

Friday’s session was focused on reviewing potential amendments and allowing members to raise questions that are still unanswered. If passed, the proposed ordinance would establish a formal process for removing a mayor from office for breach of public trust.

In recent months, Anchorage Assembly Vice Chair Christopher Constant and other members have expressed frustration with the mayor’s office for not following the approved Assembly budget, among other issues. Discussions initially began June 1, with the Assembly holding public testimony. The meeting was postponed to June 7, and then again to July 8.

“Nobody wants to take such an action rashly. We want to make sure the decisions we’re making are being done thoughtfully,” Constant said.

Constant stated the Friday meeting was concluded without “a lot of heat” so he feels that a debate and deliberation will be completed at the next assembly meeting, set to take place July 12.

“It’s often better to have questions in a less formal setting than try to do it at an Assembly meeting when all the lights are on and all the people are there. So today’s meeting was to help align people again, refresh people’s memories,” said Constant.

Previously, six members of the Assembly had to agree in order for an ordinance to be passed. However, the proposal will now need a majority of seven members to vote in favor vote as a 12th member has recently been added. The proposed ordinance has 13 provisions for which a mayor can be removed from office. Constant has said in the past that it specifically has language written into the ordinance that a removal can not happen over “petty issues.”

“His duty, that he swore an oath to, is to faithfully execute the code. So that’s what I hope to get out of it is a clear message to the administration, and every administration going forward that this is your duty. Do you duty,” stated Constant.

Alaska’s News Source reached out to Mayor Bronson’s office for comment and have not immediately heard back. Previously, a spokesman for Bronson directed Alaska’s News Source to the mayor’s social media accounts for reaction. There, Bronson has said that the ordinance would give the Assembly “sweeping grounds” for impeachment, and he wants to keep the separation of powers intact.

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