School district budget, park override votes postponed

Nathaniel Herz

The Anchorage Assembly at its Tuesday meeting postponed approval of the annual budget for the city’s school district.

Assemblyman Bill Starr, who represents Eagle River and Chugiak, said he wanted more than one opportunity for Anchorage residents to give public testimony on the proposed $743 million budget.

The budget would include the elimination of 200 district positions in the next school year.
The district’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, and Ed Graff, the superintendent, said that the postponement would have no immediate impact. He said officials from the district would be back before the Assembly at its next meeting, in two weeks.

The Assembly also is waiting to decide whether or not to override Mayor Dan Sullivan’s veto of the dedication of parkland in East Anchorage until after the city election on April 1.

Assemblyman Adam Trombley, who represents East Anchorage and is up for re-election, said he had planned to attempt an override at Tuesday’s meeting. But then Assemblywoman

Jennifer Johnston, who had voted for Trombley’s original ordinance to dedicate the parkland two weeks ago, left Tuesday’s meeting to catch a flight to Juneau — earlier than Trombley expected.

“I thought we’d be able to get to it in time,” he said. “Yeah, I’m bummed.”

Nathaniel Herz