Saturday, July 20, 2013

What's Reasonable Public Particiaption? Will It Come To The Anchorage Assembly?


When the Assembly shut down public testimony over  Mayor Sullivan's stealth anti-labor ordinance, there was a big public outcry.  I don't use terms like 'stealth' lightly.  The ordinance was hidden in a notice to the Assembly about an ordinance revision, with no hint at what the topic was or that this was a huge policy change.  It was rushed through less than two months before an Assembly election when the Mayor's one vote majority on the Assembly might be lost.  And Assembly Chair Ernie Hall stopped further public testimony, even though there were lots of people still left to testify.

This is, of course, in sharp contrast to when then Assembly Chair Debbie Ossiander declared that public testimony would continue on the ordinance to add gays to the anti-discrimination clause forever or until the last person had spoken.  At that time there was a majority to pass the bill.  Weeks and weeks of testimony, including people bussed in from Matsu, ensued.  Long enough for new Mayor Sullivan to be sworn into office and to veto the ordinance after it passed.

The rules of a democracy are set up to be fair and treat each situation the same.  But, people have manipulated the rules from the beginning of rules to get what they want.

This new task force, as I understand it, was established to recommend rules for public testimony for the Assembly.  Former Anchorage Assembly members Jane Angvik, Arliss Sturgulewski, and Jim Barnett are on this task force.  The Anchorage Press has a little more on this.

Meanwhile here are the dates of the first three meetings.  Since I won't be back in Anchorage for the first one, I hope at least three of you who read this find a way to be there for me. 




Open your computer calendar and add these dates. . . Participate!



Municipal Task Force on the Assembly  Public Hearing Process 
Meeting Schedule

Municipal Task Force Meetings (they'll meet, and people can listen)


Thursday, July 25, 2013
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
City Hall 632 West 6th Avenue, Suite 155 Anchorage, AK 99501

Thursday, August 22, 2013
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
City Hall 632 West 6th Avenue, Suite 155 Anchorage, AK 99501

Thursday, September 12, 2013
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
City Hall 632 West 6th Avenue, Suite 155 Anchorage, AK 99501


Public Hearing Process  (people can make their suggestions)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Assembly Chambers Loussac Library
3600 Denali Street Anchorage, AK 99503

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Assembly Chambers Loussac Library
3600 Denali Street Anchorage, AK 99503


Even though the first three are meetings where the public will be listening it's worth going for two reasons:
  1. If these are small meetings, chances are people will be able to contribute.  If not during the meeting, they'll be able to talk to Task Force members during breaks and after the meeting.
  2. People attending the meetings will hear what the issues are so they can focus their experience and thoughts to addressing those issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.

Post a Comment