Anchorage Assembly backs off Bronson subpoena — for now

Assembly also votes to create city holidays for Juneteenth, Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Anchorage Assembly backs off Bronson subpoena — for now
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 9:03 AM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Assembly met Tuesday amid contentions over a subpoena that Mayor Dave Bronson is refusing to comply with.

The subpoena is related to an investigation of how former Health Department Director Joe Gerace was hired. Gerace is accused of lying about his credentials for the position.

The Assembly decided not to push the issue Tuesday, saying they will revisit the topic in early March when a judge could decide whether or not Bronson will be court-ordered to comply with the subpoena.

“We act as a body,” North Anchorage representative Chris Constant said. “And it’s unlikely that we will make a final act towards the courts until we’ve had an opportunity in executive session to brief the members with the details, and the next realistic opportunity for that is approximately March 3.”

There were some contentious moments at Tuesday’s meeting, including a couple of line item issues that were to be “tabled indefinitely” because members said paperwork deadlines hadn’t been met. A funding increase for escalating fuel costs was going to be prolonged, but the Assembly went ahead on a vote after accusing the mayor’s administration of not having their paperwork in order.

That money, $4,375,000, was eventually unanimously approved during the meeting.

The Assembly also voted to limit the hiring window for some vacant positions in the city, including the municipal manager’s position and the health department director’s role.

The hiring window for those positions was reduced from 90 to 60 days. The health department position has been vacant since August, while the municipal manager role has sat vacant since December.

The Assembly also unanimously passed two citywide paid holidays — Juneteenth and Indigenous People’s Day. Those days are June 19 and October 9, 2023, respectively. While Juneteenth is annually celebrated on June 19, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is observed each year on the second Monday in October.