Saturday, May 18, 2013
A More Mayor-Friendly Anchorage Assembly?
A shift in power within the Anchorage Assembly could favor Mayor Dan Sullivan and his initiatives.
With the city's municipal election now certified, one new face will be seated in the Anchorage Assembly chambers.
Even though assembly members are considered non-partisan, the thinking right now is that more conservative Adam Trombley replacing the liberal Mike Guitierrez could result in a more mayor-friendly assembly which may favor his initiatives.
But when assembly members on both sides were asked if that was the case, they said it boils down to the way members vote which depends on their neighborhoods and the issues.
“I think Adam is definitely a stronger fiscal conservative,” said Mayor Dan Sullivan in an interview last week. “From that standpoin, if there’s more budget issues going forward I might have more agreement from Adam [Trombley] than I would from Mike [Guitierrez].”
Assembly Chair Debbie Ossiander said Mr. Trombley was endorsed by the mayor and called him “the swing change” in the assembly.
“Anytime there is a new member, the whole flavor of the body changes,” she continued.
Harriet Drummond, representing west Anchorage, said, “I don't think the mayor has a ‘rubber stamp’ assembly at all.”
Items like the municipal budget, taxes, and alcohol ID checks may bring out a different vote from assembly members than expected.
“There is a segment of the assembly that would like to see [a] 100 percent ID check in all kinds of liquor sales establishments, including restaurants and bars,” said Drummond.
Each neighborhood in Anchorage has a different set of needs and wants and assembly members said they will take each vote seriously.
“Everybody has an independent mind and so it’s when you’ve got to go into it saying what's best for my district,” said Trombley.
It’s a body made up of 11 independent minds that will fight for their constituents while also working for the overall good of the Anchorage community.
“The idea of focusing on what the community's needs are and what the obligations are as a city as opposed to what the wants are,” said Chris Birch, Anchorage Assembly member representing south Anchorage.
Mayor Sullivan said he had no problem with the Anchorage Assembly before the recent April 5 election and said, for the most part, he and the members agree on about 95 percent of the things they do.
Now that will be put to the test Tuesday when the new assembly will get tackle the first quarter budget revisions, to save or spend surplus funds and the alcohol ID check.