State lawmaker calls Anchorage Assembly resolution ‘disingenuous’
Sen. Anna Mackinnon is calling a decision by the Anchorage Assembly “disingenuous,” after the body passed a resolution Tuesday night against moving legislative offices into the Spenard area. The Assembly says the move wouldn’t fit within its long-term plan to keep government offices downtown.
Mackinnon, a former Assembly member who helped develop that plan, pointed out that the Assembly’s vote was taken from a midtown — not downtown — location.
“It’s disingenuous to point at the Legislature and say we should pay twice as much rent in the downtown area or pay twice as much in buying something when they have properties throughout the Anchorage Bowl area,” Mackinnon said. “We certainly could pass a resolution that talked about our opinion of what they’re doing with their $14 million surplus.”
Some members of the Assembly suggested Tuesday that the Legislature should move into the already state-owned Atwood building, instead of purchasing the Wells Fargo building on the corner of Minnesota Drive and Benson Boulevard for $12.5 million.
Mackinnon said even if the Legislature were to go to the Atwood building, they’d still be looking for new space in the meantime. Renovations required to accommodate lawmakers in the building aren’t expected to be finished until January of 2018.
“So we would be waiting and there could be very different market conditions at that time,” said Mackinnon.
Mackinnon had been working with Gov. Bill Walker on a $32.5 million plan to purchase the downtown Legislative Information Office building the Legislature currently leases. Walker announced he’d veto that plan last month.
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