Anchorage Assembly overturns Mayor Bronson’s vetoes during special meeting

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Numerous community projects that had been vetoed by Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson earlier this month will receive the previously designated American Rescue Plan Act funding after the Anchorage Assembly voted to override all 10 line-item vetoes.

“It’s a new day begun,” said Alaska Black Caucus President/CEO Celeste Hodge Growden. “With this funding, we are going to be able to continue to move the needle in a much larger way, though.”

The Alaska Black Caucus was one of the 10 organizations that faced had their project vetoed. The $1.2 million appropriation was the largest line-item veto issued by Bronson, who said “The Administration believes in a more equitable distribution of funds throughout the community,” in his memo.

Bronson issued a statement on Aug. 16 detailing the $16,199,091 in total vetoed APRA funding.

“I support many of the projects and organizations who received funding under this resolution and look forward to the positive work that will happen in our city when this money hits our streets,” Bronson said in his statement. “However, after close examination, I was compelled to veto items that funded duplicative services, went to organizations who had previously received federal COVID-relief funds, or were not properly vetted projects.”

During the meeting, the assembly met to discuss Bronson’s veto of the assembly resolution to form a task force to develop an emergency shelter plan for cold weather. The plan would allow task force members to propose an emergency shelter plan by Sept. 22.

On Tuesday, Bronson vetoed the resolution.

“If the “Resolution” was not already invalid for the Assembly’s failure to follow the procedures necessary for enacting an ordinance, the intrusion into executive powers and duties by the legislative branch that is embodied by the “Resolution” would be an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers incorporated within the Anchorage Charter,” Bronson wrote in his memo.

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However, assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant stated that he felt the mayor’s argument was an over-step of power.

“It was pretty damn shocking to see a veto message that essentially says, You need dad’s permission to have a conversation with the community,” Constant said.

The assembly voted 10 to one to overturn the veto.

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