Mayor Sullivan: Opposition to Labor Ordinance “Part of the Process”
Hundreds gathered, spoke in opposition of the ordinance
ANCHORAGE - "It's all part of the process." That was Mayor Dan Sullivan's reaction to attacks on his proposal to overhaul the city's labor laws Wednesday night.
At Wednesday night's public hearing in front of the Anchorage Assembly, some of those attacks got personal. One speaker against the ordinance compared the mayor to Darth Vader. Others called his plan “wrong” and "evil."
The ordinance would change how the city draws up contracts with unions, removes the option for binding arbitration to settle contract disputes, and opens up certain municipal services to competition for private contracts.
Many speakers also said they took issue with the way the mayor introduced the ordinance. But the mayor said—personal attacks aside—that’s just how ordinances get made.
“Some people have said they don't like how the process has worked, but this is exactly how it's supposed to work,” Sullivan said. “You introduce something, you kick the tires on it, the public gets a chance to comment, the employees, anybody who's an interested party, you get your two cents in.”
And he said the public comment helps shape the amendments and other changes that will go into the final ordinance.
“We're going to get all the amendments first before we prepare a second version, you don't put it out piece by piece by piece, you make sure you've got all the amendments you're going to be incorporating, you put those into the document” before releasing a new version.