By ordinance, the Assembly must conduct the Municipality's business in public, and all Assembly meetings are open to the public. However, either the Assembly or Mayor may call an "executive session" to address certain issues in privacy. Issues which warrant a closed session are pending litigation, personnel matters which tend to defame or injure the reputation of persons, or issues that, if immediately disclosed, would tend to adversely affect Municipal finances. The Assembly may take no official action in an executive session.
The Assembly's regular Tuesday evening meetings have a formal agenda. Copies of the current agenda may be found near the Chamber doors, or obtained in advance at the Municipal Clerk's Office on the Friday afternoon before the Tuesday meeting. The Agenda is also printed in the Alaska Journal of Commerce the Sunday before the meeting. Click here to locate the Assembly Agenda online.
Actions Of The Assembly
The following is a summary of documents that the Assembly takes action on:
- ASSEMBLY ORDINANCE (AO) - Changes Municipal law, appropriates funds for annual operating and capital budgets, and sets the mill levy.
- ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION (AR) - Appropriates and revises funding, and formalizes an expression of policy or recognition.
- ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM (AM) - Approves recommendations (i.e. bid awards) and summarizes the intent of ordinances and resolutions.
- ASSEMBLY INFORMATIONAL MEMORANDUM (AIM) - Provides the Assembly with requested information and reports.
Visit the Clerk's Office for copies of legislation passed prior to 2008 or here for archives of passed legislation.
All business of the Assembly is conducted through parliamentary procedures. A motion is made by an Assemblymember and seconded by another member. Once a motion has been seconded, it may be discussed and then approved or disapproved. A motion may be postponed for a definite period or tabled for an indefinite period. In order for a motion to pass, at least six of the possible eleven votes must be in favor; and eight votes are needed to override a Mayor's veto of an Assembly action.
The first motion to adopt an ordinance, memorandum, or resolution is called the main motion. Additional motions to change or amend the main motion are considered separately. Passage of any ordinance, memorandum, or resolution may require several votes of the Assembly, as amendments which attempt to change the original document are passed or defeated.
Appearing Before The Assembly
The Assembly's agenda offers citizens three opportunities for comment through a scheduled hearing, an appearance request, and audience participation. In each case, the Assembly allows individuals to speak for three minutes.
An appearance request form must be completed and filed with the Municipal Clerk. Appearance requests must be signed and specify the topic you wish to address. A statement reading "I wish to address the Assembly on this date on the following topic" is sufficient. Forms must then be sent to the Municipal Clerk, PO Box 196650, Anchorage, AK 99519-6650 or if you would like to fax your request, the Municipal Clerk's Office fax number is 343-4313. Please keep in mind that the Municipal Clerk may not accept requests which include items that have other specific administrative channels of resolution (not under the responsibility or authority of the Assembly or Municipal Administration); scheduled for public hearing; involved in current labor negotiations; or relate to your involvement with pending litigation. Appearances will be scheduled no later than 14 days after acceptance.
Appearance Request Form
When the Chair opens the public hearing on a particular item on the agenda, it would be helpful if you were seated in the front of the auditorium near the public podium. When speaking to the Assembly, first introduce yourself and then provide any information and opinions that pertain to the agenda item. Support your testimony with as many facts as possible. The Assemblymembers may also ask you questions - just answer the questions to the best of your ability and don't be afraid to say "I don't know."
It is possible to talk with the Assembly without being on the agenda. "Audience Participation" is scheduled at the end of the Assembly's regular Tuesday evening agenda. No prior sign-up is required and any topic is acceptable for discussion.