• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 7s

Anchorage community councils provide sounding board for neighborhood concerns

By Kirsten Swann 6:40 PM October 16, 2013

Changes to council rules could open participation to teens

ANCHORAGE – Anchorage Assembly members are considering an ordinance amending the rules governing community councils.

“It doesn’t give them any more power, it just tries to reinforce how vital they are to this town,” said Assemblyman Dick Traini, co-sponsor of the ordinance. “The basic level of government we have in Anchorage are community councils.”

From Portage Valley to Eagle River, Anchorage communities are represented by 38 community councils, which are open to all comers, hold elections annually and meet anywhere from twice a year to every month. They provide public forums for residents to discuss neighborhood concerns, and for Mountain View resident Diane Mead, they’re an effective way of spearheading community change.

“I didn’t know how to get involved,” Mead said, who’s now the vice president of the Mountain View Community Council. “I saw problems, and it was endlessly calling the police saying ‘There’s a problem here, there’s a problem.’”

Mead said her work with the Mountain View council facilitated an ongoing dialogue with her neighbors about issues facing their entire Northeast Anchorage community. They’re currently battling a growing public inebriate problem Mead says stems from a neighborhood liquor store. After meeting about the issue Monday night, she said her council is preparing to take its findings to the Assembly and request it reconsider the liquor store’s conditional use permit.

Councils across Anchorage handle neighborhood concerns ranging from public safety to property issues, and Mead said there’s one guaranteed way to improve the process: more public involvement.

“We’re all volunteer, so when people say there aren’t enough patrols, that’s because the person doing the patrol has a job,” she said. “If you have a concern the best thing to do is to step up, and we will help get people involved.”

Traini said changes to the community councils’ governing ordinance could encourage increased public involvement. By dropping the age of participation from 18 to 16, he said councils could encourage civic participation from local teens looking to pick up an extra school credit or get a jump start on future political aspirations.

The Assembly is also looking to improve its own communication with Anchorage community councils. Traini said the ordinance would require councils to send their capital project requests directly to the Assembly rather than City Hall so the Assembly could vet projects and include them in its own legislative request list.

“Like tennis courts,” Traini said.

Click here for a map and contact information for Anchorage community councils.

Latest Stories

  • News

    May 1-7 declared Wildland Fire Prevention & Preparedness Week in Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 01, 12:27

    Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott have declared the first week of May in 2016 as Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week in Alaska. In a special video announcement, the two leaders discussed what Alaskans can do to prevent wildfires in the state. “Wildland fires can start unpredictably and spread at a rapid pace, […]

  • Lifestyle

    Viaje sin Destino: Argentinian couple reaches Alaska after driving 40,000 miles in VW bus

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 01, 11:05

    For Paul and Erika Piazza, coming to Alaska has been years in the making. The Argentinian couple, looking “north to the future,” took off on three years ago on a never-ending journey, culminating in their recent arrival in Anchorage. “For us it was a dream you know, we grew up together, and we always speak […]

  • Lifestyle

    Federal regulations shut down Alaska’s opiate detox centers

    by Associated Press on May 01, 10:20

    Alaska’s only residential detox facilities for opiate addiction have closed due to a federal regulation change. The Juneau Empire reports that the 14-bed Ernie Turner Center in Anchorage and the 16-bed Gateway to Recovery Detox Center in Fairbanks are no longer accepting patients withdrawing from opioids, though they remain open for detox from other substances […]

  • News

    At annual gathering, legendary pilot shares his love of flying

    by Eric Ruble on Apr 30, 19:05

    Inside the FedEx hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is any pilot’s dream — Brand-new planes sit alongside historic models. Dozens of booths ring the hangar with the latest gear in aviation technology. The Great Alaska Aviation Gathering was organized by the Alaska Airmen Association (AAA), which expects at least 23,000 people to attend […]

  • News

    Spenard celebrates neighborhood renaissance

    by Eric Ruble on Apr 30, 15:05

    Once one of Anchorage’s grittiest neighborhoods, Spenard is now home to a wide spectrum of artists, musicians and young families. Chef Amanda Cash said it was the obvious choice when looking for a permanent home for her food truck, Magpie Kitchen at Large. “I live in the neighborhood, and I believe in the neighborhood,” Cash […]

  • Politics

    Alaska Republican Party elects new chairman

    by Liz Raines on Apr 30, 12:53

    Tuckerman Babcock is taking over as chairman of the Alaska Republican Party after a vote by members at the state convention in Fairbanks Saturday morning. Babcock won by 52 percent in a three-way race against Ann Brown and Ric Davidge. The final count came after more than 40 minutes of debate on the party’s rules […]

  • News

    Faster than a Falcon: Kids, parents race to beat mascot in Mountain View 5K

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 30, 11:34

    Participants of the seventh-annual Faster Than a Falcon 5K run took off through Mountain View Saturday morning, hoping to win a special prize. The goal for racers each year is to beat a costumed “falcon” runner to the finish line for a special prize. This year’s “falcon” runner was dressed as a raven, who joked, […]

  • News

    Terminating parental rights: State policies vary widely

    by on Apr 30, 11:11

    For child-welfare agencies across the United States, it’s the ultimate sanction: terminating the rights of parents to raise their own children due to concerns about abuse and neglect. All states resort to this step when deemed necessary for a child’s well-being, but there are wide state-to-state disparities in the rate of terminations and the extent […]