Assembly candidate Q&A: Do you agree with the mayor's labor ordinance?

In the days leading up to the April 2 Anchorage municipal election, we'll be publishing responses from Assembly and School Board candidates to a range of questions.


Q: Do you agree with the labor ordinance presented by the Sullivan administration in February? Why or why not?

District 3: Seat E

West Anchorage

Cheryl Frasca: I support the amended version, which includes a number of changes as a result of meetings with the unions and public testimony. Items of special concern to many employees, such as wages, seniority, pay enhancements, benefits, shifts will continue to be negotiated. The Administration will be able to achieve efficiencies by streamlining insurance and leave programs and giving managers the authority to assign staff schedules and overtime.

Phil Isley: It must be good because of the amount of money both sides are spending. At some point, there has to be a change or the people will not be able to afford to live in Anchorage.

Tim Steele: I, along with every current Assembly member, do not approve of the ordinance as it currently reads. I don't know what form the ordinance will take after it is fully amended. I strongly object to the process by which the ordinance was introduced. The ordinance was filed a half hour before the deadline for candidates to file for the Assembly, without any prior discussion with the people directly affected.

District 4: Seat F

Midtown Anchorage

Andy Clary: The ordinance as originally proposed needed improvement. The S version is a better product. I do see a need to rebalance our expenditures and revenues to provide for long-term sustainable growth.

Dick Traini: No. The ordinance is defective in design. This kind of ordinance should have been negotiated, not forced through the Assembly.

District 5: Seat H

East Anchorage

Paul Honeman: No: There are many reasons that are more lengthy than the 75 words allow. Simply it is not well thought out, not well planned, and is an over reach of administrative power. It tilts too far away from what is fair, good faith collective bargaining, and hundreds of Anchorage residents have shown up to tell the Assembly just that.

District 6: Seat J

South Anchorage

Jennifer Johnston: As a sponsor of the February ordinance I immediately saw areas of the ordinance that needed to be improved upon. In working with various union leaders, I feel the ordinance is becoming more centered in our approach.

District 2: Seat A

Chugiak/Eagle River

Amy Demboski: Yes. The fact is the cost of labor is rising at a rate that outpaces the rate at which the tax cap can rise. One example is the police department budget; in 2002 APDs budget was $45.8 million, and in 2013 their budget will surpass $94 million with almost the same number of budgeted positions. This demonstrates a fundamental issue that has to be addressed.

Peter Mulcahy: I agree with the general intent of the ordinance and the efforts to reestablish a balance in the negotiating process. The scales had tipped too far in one direction. There are still many parts of the ordinance that need to be amended. Even if it passes, there will still be a lot of work to refine the provisions for future negotiations.

Bob Lupo: Yes and no! The mayor is just doing his job. He has the guts to suggest things that he knows will be unpopular, but could be beneficial to the city. I don't agree with everything he says or does, but I salute him for his courage.

District 3: Seat D

West Anchorage

Ernie Hall: Depends on the final version.

Nick Moe: No. The public process was lacking from the beginning. The administration did not consult with any labor groups or individuals before introducing this measure. Then, Ernie Hall did not let over one hundred of the concerned citizens who turned out to testify against this ordinance speak.  This is one of the main reason I decided to run my Write In Nick Moe for Assembly campaign. I want to ensure that when measures – especially controversial measures  - are proposed, every community member who wants to speak has the chance to be heard.

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