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​​​​​Chair Report

At each Regular Assembly Meeting, Chair Christopher Constant gives a report on recent community events and issues of interest before the Assembly. If you missed the Chair's Report, you can catch up below.

Chair Constant represents District 1, North Anchorage. He was first elected in ​2017 and became the Assembly Chair at the April 25, 2023 Regular Assembly Meeting.


Notice: this page contains the opinion and views of the Assembly Chair, which do not necessarily represent the views of the Anchorage Assembly or Municipality of Anchorage.

February 13​​, 2024

Assembly Member Felix Rivera Chaired the 2/13 meeting and offered the following remarks:

View the recording of the remarks.

Good evening everybody and welcome. 

Before we begin this evening, I want to take a moment to recognize the passing of a dear friend to the Municipality, Bob Owens. Mr. Owens has been with the Municipal Attorney’s Office for over eighteen years and played a critical role in many important municipal issues over those years. He always offered wise and thoughtful legal advice and was a true public servant to the people of Anchorage. 

His passing has been quite a shock. I want to offer my condolences to his wife Suzanne, his family and friends, and the staff in the Municipal Attorney’s Office who have lost a valuable colleague. We will do a longer recognition in the future when his family can be here, but for tonight, we’ve placed flowers on the dais in his memory. 

Elections
Next, I want to issue a reminder that the Municipality will hold a vote at home election this March and April. The last day to register is March 3, ballot packages will be mailed to qualified voters on March 12 and the last day of voting is Tuesday, April 2. The mayor, several school board seats, service area board of supervisor seats and the open District 2 Chugiak-Eagle River Assembly seat will be on the ballot, as well as a proposed Charter amendment and several bond propositions. 

Online Checkbook
An exciting new development this week was the launch of the Online Checkbook, an online record of municipal transactions. The Online Checkbook will update monthly, posting recent transactions, unaudited revenue and procured contracts with historic information dated back to 2018. This is a major milestone in the Assembly’s effort to make our local government more transparent and accessible to the public. 

I congratulate my colleague Chair Constant for seeing one of his top goal’s to fruition and also thank Members Cross and Volland for your sponsorship of the legislation that created it. Finally, I want to recognize and thank the team at IT and Finance, especially Sandra Fern, Brendan Babb and Heather Holland, and the Assembly implementation team, Chair Constant, Member Brawley and former Budget Analyst Desirea Camacho, for their incredible hard work to pull this off in under a year. 

Tonight’s Meeting
To my fellow members, with several members absent from the meeting tonight, I ask that if there are any controversial or lengthy items on the agenda, we consider postponing to March so we can hold a worksession on the topic and have all of the members present to participate in debate and voting. Two items tonight fit this theme, items 14.B. AO 2024-14 (regarding right turns on red) and 14.F. AO 2023-94 (regarding Title 17 code on Animals) will be pushed to meetings in March, so if you are here for those items, the public hearings will not be heard tonight. At the request of the Mayor, I want to give the Clerk directions to add him as a sponsor to items 10.A.1. and 10.A.4, two honorary resolutions on the agenda tonight.


January 23​​, 2024

View the recording of the remarks.

Good evening everybody and welcome. 

Elections
As you’ve hopefully heard by now, the Municipality of Anchorage will hold a vote at home election this March and April. I want to remind everyone of some important dates – candidate filings for Mayor, Assembly, School Board and Service Area Board of Supervisors close this Friday, January 26 at 5 pm. Candidates can register at the Clerk’s Office between 9am- 3pm or at the Election Center between 8am and 5pm. The last day to register is March 3, ballot packages will be mailed to qualified voters on March 12 and the last day of voting is Tuesday, April 2.

The mayor, several school board seats, service area board of supervisor seats and the open District 2 Chugiak-Eagle River Assembly seat will be on the ballot, as well as a proposed Charter amendment and several bond propositions. The Assembly approved several items last week to put on the ballot and will review the remaining few items this evening. 

As I’ve said before, local elections have a direct impact on our daily lives, including the efficiency of our snow plowing, the health of our parks, and the strength of our public safety, so I encourage everyone to follow the issues closely and vote by 8pm April 2nd.

Anchorage Requests to Legislature
The legislature convened in Juneau last week and with that, the Municipality submitted a legislative program with our 2024 requests to the Legislature. Late last year, the Anchorage Assembly worked alongside the Administration to develop shared legislative priorities, including focused capital asks, statutory recommendations and district-specific priorities. 

The Municipality’s top three priorities this session are the Port of Alaska Modernization Program, increasing housing supply and addressing homelessness, and supporting mental and behavioral health needs. You can learn more about the top priorities, as well as other municipal and district priorities on the Assembly’s website​.

Property Valuation Notices
Next, it’s that time of year when residents receive green valuation slips in the mail, detailing the Municipality’s assessment of residents’ property values. Property valuation is a public process, and property owners should be aware of their options to participate.

If a property owner believes that their property valuation was calculated in error, we invite their engagement in the appeal process. The deadline to appeal is February 12. If a property owner qualifies for an exemption that is not reflected in the property valuation, the property owner has until March 15 to file for the exemption. 

You can learn more and check your property valuations online at www.property.muni.org​.

January 9​​, 2024

View the recording of the remarks.

​Good evening everybody and welcome. This is the first regular Assembly meeting of 2024. I hope everyone enjoyed the break and I’m glad you can be here tonight. We’re starting the new year off with a bang and have a really packed agenda tonight. There are lots of people here for different agenda items, so we’ll do our best to keep on track and move efficiently through all of the items we have to get done tonight. 


Year in Review
I hope you saw last week’s Assembly newsletter that contained a recap of our 2023 accomplishments. The Assembly, with thanks to the Administration and all of our partners saw progress in all of our 2023 priorities, including advancement of the Port of Alaska modernization, passage of several initiatives to spur housing development, expansion of the Fire Department Mobile Crisis Team and Police Department Mobile Intervention Team, passage of the “Open Checkbook”  to create an online dashboard of municipal spending, and nearly one hundred percent recovery from FEMA of the funds we spent on the pandemic.

At our Rules Committee meeting this week, the Assembly will develop our work plan for 2024 and we’ll release that to the public by next month so you can follow along with our work over the next year.

Elections
Next, with the beginning of a new year comes the beginning of a new election cycle. The Municipality of Anchorage will hold a vote at home election this March and April and the Mayor, several school board seats, and the open District 2 Chugiak-Eagle River Assembly seat will be on the ballot, as well as a proposed Charter amendment and several bond propositions.

Candidate filing opens this Friday, January 12 at 8:00 a.m. and closes on Friday, January 26 at 5:00 p.m. The Assembly will be approving the bond propositions over the next two meetings and the last day of voting is Tuesday, April 2. Local elections have a direct impact on our daily lives, including the efficiency of our snow plowing, the health of our parks, and the strength of our public safety, so I encourage everyone to follow the issues closely and vote by this April 2nd.​


December 19​​, 2023

View the recording of the remarks.

Good evening everybody and welcome. This is the last regular Assembly meeting of 2023, so I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and a happy new year. I hope everyone has a restful and joyous break over the next few weeks. 

It’s a really packed agenda tonight and there are lots of people here for different agenda items, so we’ll do our best to keep on track and move efficiently through all of the items we have to get done tonight. 

On that note, I want to point out that the Assembly’s Code of Conduct is posted on the front doors and throughout the room. This is a business meeting and we are here to do the work of the city. I ask for all of your help in creating a climate of respect in the Chambers. We surely don’t agree on all of the issues, but in the end, we are all neighbors and working to make our community a better place.

Year in Review
Last week, the Assembly conducted our annual review and began setting our workplan for the upcoming year. As we reflect on the past year, I want to thank all of the Members for your incredibly hard work. It is clear that each and every one of you care deeply about your community and are committed to making it a better place. 

But we can’t do this work alone. I also want to extend thanks to the staff in the administration, our community partners, and the public for supporting the work of the Assembly and helping us craft legislation, fund important city services, and hold our local government to account.

Finally, I want to thank the families of Assembly Members and the Mayor’s team. You didn’t sign up for public service, and yet you make great sacrifices of time and effort to support your loved ones in their work to represent our community.

Election Code Update and Election Observer Handbook Update
An important item of note tonight is the annual update to our election code in Title 28 and the election observer’s handbook. This is something that happens every year and is an important step in the process to make Anchorage the best Vote at Home jurisdiction in the United States. We strive to review each election, take feedback from the public, and hear from experts so we can strengthen our elections more each year. This year it took on an especially important function because we had to run through a process to follow through on the Ombudsman’s report of tampering in the 2023 election. This step concludes that process in preparation for the 2024 election

Eklutna River
A few weeks ago, we held a joint worksession with the Native Village of Eklutna, the first ever in the history of our government-to-government relations. I thank the Native Village of Eklutna and Eklutna, Inc. for their informative and compelling presentations on why full restoration of the Eklutna River is such an important goal. The proposal that is currently before us from the owner’s group leaves just a mile stretch between the lake and river unconnected. That’s not river restoration. We can’t just stop short of the last mile. Our meeting with the owner’s group was productive and I am hopeful that we can get to a place of agreement in the near future and bridge that gap.​​