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Anchorage mayor to take oath of office in Hawaii via Skype

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan will be out of town, vacationing in Hawaii on Monday when he takes the oath of office beginning his second term.

Sullivan arranged to be sworn in at the office of a Honolulu attorney, a city spokeswoman said. Anchorage District Court Judge Brian Clark will officiate the ceremony from Anchorage City Hall, communicating with Sullivan via Skype online video.

The mayor flew to Hawaii on Friday afternoon to begin an annual family vacation, said Sullivan spokeswoman Lindsey Whitt. Sullivan is paying for the trip, she said.

The mayor's wife, Lynnette, has family in Honolulu and the couple travel there every summer, Whitt said. The vacation was delayed this year because Lynnette Sullivan is a teacher and was busy with summer school, she said.

Whitt could not say when the decision was made to take the vacation at the same time as the inauguration.

Sullivan won re-election in the April 3 election.

"We're not doing a big party. He just really wants this to be, 'I'm getting back to work. It's my second term. No big deal,' " Whitt said.

Whitt initially said Sullivan wanted to avoid the taxpayer expense of an Anchorage celebration, but later added that the event would likely not have been paid from city coffers.

Sullivan became the city's seventh elected mayor in 2009 with an inauguration before hundreds of people at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. The downtown venue has been host to inaugurations for every mayor -- including those beginning second terms -- since 1994, according to news reports at the time.

Sullivan plans to hold the ceremony for his second term of office 1 p.m. Monday, Alaska time.

The city attorney reviewed the plans and believes the swearing in meets the standard required by city code, which says the mayor must take the oath of office on July 1, "or as soon thereafter as practicable," Whitt said. Still, Sullivan plans to sign the oath of office a second time when he returns from vacation in mid-July "to cover all of our bases," she said.

"In case anyone ever wanted to come back and say, 'Well because you were in Hawaii it wasn't legal,' " Whitt said.

Sullivan could not immediately be reached for comment but provided a written statement Friday:

"I'm honored to serve the Municipality of Anchorage for a second term. I want to thank the voters for their support and our hard working municipal employees for their efforts in making our city a better place to live, work, and raise a family over the last three years. I look forward to continuing these efforts on behalf of the citizens of Anchorage."


By KYLE HOPKINS
Anchorage Daily News