Anchorage Municipal E-News
October / 2010
There's some good financial news in this issue of Anchorage Update, including an update on the city's travel costs. Also, citizens can also follow our budget process more easily, and the homeless have another option for shelter when it gets below freezing. As always, send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on facebook or twitter. And remember to exercise your right to vote next Tuesday!
Citizens Guide to the Budget presents budget information in user-friendly format
The Citizens Guide to the Budget is a new tool developed by Office of Management and Budget staff designed to give citizens the information they need to track the budget-building process. Often, the proposals contained in the budget can be difficult to understand for people who don't follow city government closely. The process itself also can be cumbersome to navigate: Assembly work sessions, public hearings and amendments all contain details that can overwhelm some citizens. read more...
City's travel expenses at 10-year low
One of the first things we did when I took office was put a freeze on municipal travel. In a time of budget shortfalls, it's only logical to dramatically reduce those costs. In addition, quality training is now available locally or online in many cases, so it's wise to take advantage of those less expensive alternatives. So, how are we doing? Well, we recently checked the numbers and I am pleased to report that travel expenditures have come down from a high of $529,445 in 2008 to a low of $86,748 for 2010 to date. This is a direct result of the scrutiny my cost containment committee has applied to travel requests to ensure that only necessary travel costs are incurred.
Regional energy conservation test reduces load by approximately 2-4 percent
Recently, I joined with officials from regional governments to ask residents in Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su to "turn it down" for two hours in order to practice for an energy emergency.
The conservation drill was designed to gauge how much energy could be saved during a gas delivery shortfall. Should such a problem arise, residents of South central Alaska would first be asked to take actions in the Yellow or "Caution" section of the Energy Watch chart. Those actions include turning down the thermostat to 65 degrees in living areas; postponing laundry and dishes, lowering the water heater to "warm", minimizing use of gas ranges and turning off unnecessary lights and electronics. A cooperative conservation effort will hopefully mitigate the last-resort need for rolling blackouts.
We were encouraged by the results of this year's test. Measurements showed an across-the-board energy load reduction of between 2-4 percent on Wednesday, October 20, between 6-8 p.m., the period of the second Energy Watch conservation drill.
Mayor's Cold Weather Plan for the homeless opens up additional beds this winter
Our homeless neighbors can expect some relief this winter. Churches and other service groups have begun applying to become approved cold-weather centers, opening their doors to the homeless when the weather gets below freezing. This will provide additional shelter for those needing help when other city shelters are filled to capacity.
Muni officials and the fire department must approve each group that wants to participate to make sure the facilities are safe and sanitary. Earlier this summer, the Assembly passed my ordinance allowing this part of the cold-weather plan. It's a welcome development in providing assistance to those who don't have a permanent place to call home.
It's a real testament to the spirit of charity in Anchorage that many communities across the country have tried to implement similar policies without success. Anchorage residents have a well-earned reputation for wanting to help their neighbors, and this development is proof of that.
Mayor Dan and First Lady Lynnette Sullivan at the 2010 Mayor's Charity Ball
Courtesy: Dave Harbour
Mayor Sullivan reads to kindergartners at Inlet View Elementary as part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record®
- Oct 30
NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner
- Nov 2
Election Day- VOTE!
- Nov 4
Alaska General Contractors Conference
- Nov 5
Budget Work Session
632 West 6th Avenue, Anchorage Alaska 99501
Municipality of Anchorage | 632 W 6th Ave. | Anchorage | AK | 99501