By JAMIE ALLARD
I am grateful for the wisdom of our founding fathers who gave us a representative republic, where the rights of the minority are protected from the crowd.
“A republic, if you can keep it”, is how Benjamin Franklin described it at the end of the Constitutional Convention.
I am grateful for those checks and balances, the separation of powers and the elections.
In our local governing body, Assembly members are non-partisan representatives of their constituents. They provide these checks and balances at the local level.
But what I have observed this week at Assembly meetings leaves me speechless.
I have witnessed an assembly super-majority launching a new round of attacks against members of the community trying to do their civic duty. Like bullies on the playing field, a progressive cabal has unleashed the hounds on anyone who does not align with its exact political agenda.
From mothers testifying to skilled officials and volunteers volunteering to serve on boards and commissions, this Assembly majority has harnessed its power and is now holding Anchorage hostage.
They intimidated those who mobilized, even going so far as to ridicule and destroy reputations. Their goal appears to be to wreak havoc.
What the majority of the Assembly did by denying Mayor Dave Bronson his choice for the town’s real estate manager can be characterized as gangster government.
Jim Winegarner has an impressive resume as a real estate professional, hands-on man, with over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, primarily in Alaska, making acquisitions, negotiating deals. operating and working on joint ventures for the next generation of oil and gas, among others.
For the past several months, he has served as the Anchorage Housing Manager. When the former real estate manager was away from work due to her own issues with the Bronson administration, Winegarner was appointed to replace her.
He is a good candidate, and it is an apolitical position. Unfortunately, the majority in the Assembly wanted to punish the Bronson administration for firing Winegarner’s predecessor, and all in an effort to wreak havoc. It’s embarrassing to be a witness.
There is yet another aspect of this that should give Anchorage citizens pause. The post of director of housing is integrated into the mayor’s office. This position is funded by the Rasmuson Foundation, whose CEO Diane Kaplan donated $ 250 to Forrest Dunbar’s mayor’s campaign this year. She also donated $ 450 to the Suzanne LaFrance Assembly campaign last year and $ 250 to the Vote No campaign on the Zaletel recall this fall.
The chief housing position to which Winegarner was originally appointed shocked Kaplan and the Rasmuson Foundation, who wanted to have their say and have their say. Here’s the reality: The Rasmuson Foundation has brought a position into the mayor’s office that it believes it controls, as it did under former mayor Ethan Berkowitz and interim mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson. This mayor won’t allow Kaplan to tell him who he can hire.
You can see where it’s going. There is a liberal war declared on the mayor’s office, and even such an uncontroversial position as a real estate manager is not immune from this war.
Never before in Anchorage’s history have citizens seen a dishonest Assembly, an Assembly that uses the tools bestowed upon it by our charter as daggers against good, honest, and qualified people. The charter is clear: they must vote on an appointment based on qualifications.
The actions of the majority of the Assembly are transparent. Residents of Anchorage and statewide see these actions for what they are: Not serving the public, the majority crowd has a political agenda, fueled by their hurt egos as they attempt to harm Mayor Bronson . The harm they cause to Anchorage and the future of our children is for them only collateral damage, acceptable because the end justifies the means.
Jamie Allard, a veteran, is one of two Assembly members representing Chugiak and Eagle River.