An Anchorage government oversight that failed to provide funding, office space and supplies to Mayor-Elect Dave Bronson’s transition team is likely to be resolved soon.
Congregation vice chairman Chris Constant said previous city budgets have set aside funds for expenses during the change of mayor, such as in 2009 when $ 60,000 was budgeted for former Mayor Dan Sullivan’s transition into office.
Constant said the assembly would vote at its next meeting on Tuesday to allocate a likely similar amount to Bronson’s team.
Since winning the runoff election on May 11, Bronson has assembled a transition team of more than two dozen people, most of whom are unpaid volunteers, said Matt Shuckerow, a transition team spokesman. Many donated office supplies and equipment.
The money will help pay rent, office supplies and normal transition costs, he said.
“The Bronson transition team has been aware of this issue for some time and is pleased that it is resolved,” said Shuckerow.
Constant said he did not discover the omission in the budget himself, nor did he learn about it from Bronson and his team. Instead, he recently found out about The Alaska Landmine, a website owned and operated by political writer Jeff Landfield.
“I got a call from someone who asked, ‘Hey, is there any money in there?’ And I assumed there was one, ”said Constant.
A new mayor is elected every three to six years. Transitional allowances would not normally be considered by congregation members when approving a budget, assembly member Felix Rivera said.
“As far as I know, it is never something that the congregations think about or worry about. It’s something that the mayor and administration put into the budget when it’s created, ”Rivera said. “When we only recently started looking into it, we found that it wasn’t finished yet.”
Constant said that shortly after the discovery, he then contacted the transition team and asked them if they needed money.
At the time, Bronson’s team told him they hadn’t come forward because they “didn’t want to make a fight out of it,” Constant said.
“Here’s a thought for the future – don’t assume something is a struggle. Ask a question, ”he said. “For me that is the quintessence of everything.”
Bronson during his campaign for mayor positioned himself as a conservative leader who would challenge the city’s progressive assembly and be very critical of its members.
The administration of former mayor Ethan Berkowitz proposed the budget for 2021 in early October 2020 Resignation after scandal about what he called an “inappropriate messaging relationship” with a local newscaster.
The congregation elected incumbent Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson to fill the office and retained much of Berkowitz’s administration.
A spokesman for the incumbent mayor has not yet responded to email questions about the recent budgeting process and why it did not include money for the transition team.