Municipal e-Newsletter Dec. 20
December / 2010
As 2010 comes to a close, the city's budget process wraps up. Public participation in this year's budget-building exercise was unprecedented and greatly appreciated. In the end, the discourse was civil, constructive, and exceedingly helpful in balancing the needs of the city with strained municipal finances. In other news, the Knik Arm Crossing project just cleared a major hurdle, and the charitable spirit of Anchorage residents is alive and well. As always, you can contact me at email@example.com, or follow me on facebook or twitter. Merry Christmas!
2011 budget passes Assembly with unanimous vote My 2011 General Operating Budget for the Municipality of Anchorage passed the Assembly by unanimous vote last week.
It's was a long road to get to that point, and citizens deserve a note of thanks for taking the time to fully participate and engage in the budget-building process. Feedback generated at the Community Budget Dialogues undoubtedly assisted me and Assembly members as we looked at the various ways to approach the budget shortfall. We had to deal with exceptional challenges, but ultimately, by working together, were able to come up with a reasonable compromise between taxes and spending. It's not a perfect solution, but it does reflect a commitment to meeting our city's essential needs during a period when many families are struggling to stay afloat. Property taxes will increase less than one percent next year─ a direct result of the budget dialogues where 67 percent of participants said not to increase these taxes.
We will face another challenging budget year in 2012, and I look forward to hearing from the public again when we discuss those budget choices. Until then, please feel free to weigh in anytime about matters related to the municipal budget or other items of interest by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knik Arm Bridge project wins federal approval, prepares to move forward
The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) recently announced that the Federal Highway Administration has signed the Record of Decision for the Knik Arm Crossing project. This move allows KABATA to proceed with the permitting, right-of-way acquisition, final design, financing, and construction of the project. read more...
Mayor, Assembly members join forces to ban "Spice" in the Municipality of Anchorage
A synthetic form of marijuana, called "Spice" or "K2" (among others) will be illegal to sell or use within the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) next year. Before the Assembly and I took action on the issue, the dangerous drug was marketed as incense and could be purchased legally at smoke shops and even some convenience stores around town.
So far, ten states and the military have criminalized the drugs, and a bill pre-filed by Sen. Kevin Meyer that would ban "Spice" statewide is expected to come before the Alaska State Legislature during the next legislative session. In the meantime, our local ordinance gives police and prosecutors a tool for addressing the public safety threat posed by this dangerous, unregulated drug.
2010 Mayor's Charity Ball raises thousands for non-profits: Charities selected for next year This year's Mayor's Charity Ball was a resounding success! A grand total of $208,293 was raised for four local non-profits. The sold-out event raised the following amounts for this year's beneficiaries:
- Alaska Children's Services: $49,380
- Alaska Junior Theatre: $55,684
- American Red Cross: $51,590
- Green Star, Inc.: $51,639
I offer a hearty "thank you" to the many volunteers who make this event happen each year. The event takes hundreds of volunteer hours to be successful, and it wouldn't be possible without them.
We also drew names for next year's non-profit beneficiaries. The lucky winners are:
- The American Diabetes Association
- Anchorage Citizens Coalition
- Programs for Infants and Children
- The Music Machine!
Scouts are frequent visitors to the Mayor's Office.
Mayor Sullivan and Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz with gifts given to the city by the mayor of Magadan, Russia
Official Newsletter of the Municipality of Anchorage
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