• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 41s

Anchorage Assembly hears more on labor law vote

By KTVA CBS 11 News 4:55 PM October 10, 2013

Assembly/voters divided on election timing

ANCHORAGE – Gerrymandering, mudslinging, backstabbing — those were some of the words brought up at Wednesday’s Anchorage Assembly public hearing. The assembly ran into overtime on Tuesday night, so they suspended the hearing to listen to more testimony on AO-37.

First, the back story of the controversial labor law:

AO-37 came before the assembly this spring. The mayor and supporters of the measure claimed the measure streamlined labor in the municipality. City unions countered it inhibited their rights to negotiate. City unions like firefighters’ unions and police officers’ unions fought the decision. The Assembly heard dozens of hours of testimony. Despite a strong showing from city workers at Anchorage Assembly meetings, the body voted to pass AO-37 this spring.

City unions decided to try to put the issue to the voters. They put out a petition to get a referendum on the ballot. The petition gathered more than enough signatures. Wednesday night, Anchorage Assembly members heard comments on whether that measure should come sooner or later.

Those who support AO-37 said it’s best delayed until the general election in 2014. Assembly member Jennifer Johnston said, “It’s just to get as many voters as possible.”

Those opposed said setting the date to a general election is political strategy. In an interview last month Dick Traini theorized in a general election, more Republicans vote. He said the GOP will likely vote against the unions. That’s where all those dirty names come in. During public testimony, Cameron Hokenson quoted things he’d heard people say at the last meeting — “Yesterday people used terms like gerrymandering, mudslinging, backstabbing, dark-of-night-decisions, back-door meetings, many other unflattering things to describe how the whole process has played out”

“I think that’s mainly a delaying tactic,” said Cornelius Eastman. He doesn’t work for the city, but opposes AO-37. As a union worker, he wanted to support city workers who feel this ordinance infringes on their right to collectively bargain.

Linda Kellen Biegel doesn’t work for the city either. She’s also opposed to AO-37. She said the proponents don’t have a good reputation. “This administrative body can’t afford another incident where the perception of shenanigans is once again on display,” she said during public testimony.

Assembly member Jennifer Johnston said it’s not about shenanigans, it’s just an important issue that is better addressed by more Anchorage voters. She cited local turnout in most city elections. “With that low margin … you would question really how the people felt, so I would rather have it in the general election with a high voter turnout,” she said, “and you can get an idea. You can have a discussion and find out how they feel about it.”

On Wednesday, a lot of the testimony was from city employees and union representatives who wanted an earlier election.

Richard Braun wasn’t part of that group. He told the assembly the unions seemed too powerful. “Our city is supposed to be run by elected officials,” he said, “and I get a feeling in listening to the original argument that the unions think they can set the rules. I object to that.”

The assembly got an earful, but they won’t be voting on the measure this week. Its suspended a decision until later in October.

Latest Stories

  • Wash. man charged with murdering, stealing from Ketchikan doctor

    by Chris Klint on Jul 21, 14:10

    A Washington man is accused of murdering a Ketchikan doctor at his home earlier this year, after local police say he transferred large sums of cash from the victim’s bank accounts and tried to send three shipping containers of goods from the home Outside. Jordan Joplin, 32, was indicted Friday by a Ketchikan grand jury […]

  • Fashion Friday: summer trends

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 21, 12:42

    For fashion, keep it simple this summer. Experts at the 5th Avenue Mall say the trend this year for men is lighter, natural colors with subtle prints. For women, it’s easy elegance; think floral prints, ruffles and slip-on shoes. Watch the video above for some outfit ideas and summer looks.

  • Man gets 25-year sentence in 2014 Anchorage sexual assault

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 21, 12:08

    An Anchorage man was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison with five years suspended, for a violent sexual assault against a woman more than two years ago. Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby handed down 31-year-old Asad Nur’s sentence on Thursday, according to a statement from Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion’s office. An Anchorage jury […]

  • DayBreak

    Daybreak Adopt-A-Pet: July 21, 2017

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 21, 12:00

    From Anchorage Animal Care and Control: Your next adventure buddy awaits: This week is going to the dogs. If you’re looking for an energetic dog to be your new companion then one of these could be your match. Head down to the shelter to meet Snoopy, Oxford, Nala or Bruce who are all looking for […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: The Super Saturated Sugar Strings

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 21, 10:51

    The Super Saturated Sugar Strings are releasing their new album, “All Their Many Miles,” and are inviting Alaska to help them celebrate. The party starts at 7 p.m. July 27 at the 49th State Brewing Company on 3rd Avenue in Downtown Anchorage. Before that, the group will play at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s GooseFest […]

  • This weekend in Southcentral Alaska

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 21, 10:45

    Cardboard City When: 5 p.m. July 21 to 8 a.m. July 22 Location: Alaska State Fairgrounds, green entrance Price: $50 per person Spend the night in a cardboard box and raise money to end homelessness Mat-Su Fiber Festival When: July 22 and 23 Location: Alaska State Fairgrounds All-ages Dog Jog When: July 22, 9 a.m. […]

  • Sean Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

    by CBS News on Jul 21, 9:07

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer has resigned, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett has confirmed. Spicer resigned Friday morning, shortly after President Trump selected Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Scaramucci’s hiring was a factor in his resignation, as was Spicer’s diminishing role in the White House, Garrett reports. A source with direct […]

  • Suspect’s struggle over gun with Anchorage police leads to attempted-murder charges

    by Chris Klint on Jul 21, 8:51

    A man who Anchorage police say fired a gun during an altercation with two officers earlier this week has been arrested on a series of charges, including attempted murder. Court records show Pagopago Beefcake Lelilio, 29, also facing seven other counts of assault, weapons misconduct and reckless endangerment in the Wednesday encounter. A criminal complaint […]