Devin Kelly

Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration is projecting between $4 million and $6 million in leftover money from Anchorage’s 2014 city budget.

A winter with relatively little snow helped boost the estimated surplus, which was announced during a recent Anchorage Assembly budget finance committee meeting. City officials previously said that the city saved roughly $1 million on snow removal and related public works services in 2014...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage’s firefighters union is backing Ethan Berkowitz for mayor, an endorsement Berkowitz claimed as a key victory in a race focused on public safety.

The International Association of Firefighters Local 1264 made the announcement in a Wednesday press conference outside the union hall in South Anchorage. Berkowitz joined union president Mike Stumbaugh on top of the union’s big barbecue, flanked by about 15 other firefighters holding Berkowitz campaign signs.

“He’s always been a friend of ours,” Stumbaugh said. “One thing we do is stick to our friends.”...

Devin Kelly

Concerns about housing affordability, Medicaid expansion and youth involvement emerged as focal points Monday night at what was described as the first ever mayoral forum organized by members of Anchorage’s Samoan community.

The forum was tied to a sense among Samoans in Anchorage that concerns and issues are not being heard by city leadership, according to a community leader. In an interview earlier Monday, Chief Tagomoa Viliamu Pili recalled serving as a liaison to the administration of Mayor Rick Mystrom in the late 1990s. Mystrom held meetings in his office and listened to concerns, Pili said...

Devin Kelly

An Anchorage judge on Tuesday ordered the city to search its records and turn over to a union coalition any emails, letters or other documents to or from Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey concerning the city’s divisive 2013 labor ordinance that removed the right to strike for municipal employees and limited annual pay increases...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration has reached a tentative deal on a new contract with the city police union. The agreement comes four months after voters rejected the Sullivan administration’s divisive rewrite of city labor law, Anchorage Ordinance 37. Members of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association were among the most vocal critics of the law and campaigned aggressively against it...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey devoted his opening statement at a Monday forum to defusing the backlash over the letter his lawyer sent last week to radio and TV stations to suppress an accidental recording in 2008.

Coffey pulled back from the letter’s threats of lawsuits and criminal prosecutions against anyone who would air the embarrassing recording, in which Coffey and another Anchorage Assembly member talked about using campaign contributions as a weapon to achieve political goals. Coffey was chairman of the Assembly at the time...

Devin Kelly

At a news conference Friday, Anchorage mayoral candidate Lance Ahern predicted that finishing the city’s troubled SAP project, a major overhaul of its computerized business systems, would take four years and an additional $50 million if it stays on its current path.

Ahern is the chief information officer for the city, but he’s also running for mayor. He made it clear Friday that he was speaking as a candidate, not from his position with the city. He said he’s been excluded from executive conversations about the SAP project since January, when he made his concerns about the project known to executives in Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration...

Devin Kelly

In addition to the four front-running candidates for Anchorage mayor, another seven are also seeking the job. All express hope that they can pull off the next-to-impossible and be victorious. They’re putting forward a range of ideas and personalities to voters.

Four talked with Alaska Dispatch News about why they’re running and the issues that concern them most. Three others didn’t respond or couldn’t be contacted: Jacob Seth Kern, Christopher Jamison and Samuel Joseph Speziale III.

Lance Ahern

In the 1990s, Lance Ahern founded a company to deliver Internet service to Alaska residents. It was the state’s first such company and Ahern’s first major business venture...

Devin Kelly

An attorney for Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey sent a threatening letter to local radio and TV stations this week seeking to prevent a repeat disclosure of an embarrassing recording that was widely distributed seven years ago...

Devin Kelly

Fourth in a series of stories on the candidates for Anchorage mayor

Nine months into his tenure as president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Halcro was hearing about problems in Town Square Park downtown.

Concerns about crime and drug activity had chamber members avoiding the park, Halcro said. Downtown merchants with storefronts near the park were worrying about business impacts. In speeches and posts online, Halcro began lambasting city leadership on public safety and police staffing.

It was one of several occasions in the last two years when Halcro, one of the front-runners in the Anchorage mayor’s race, butted heads with Mayor Dan Sullivan and his administration...

Devin Kelly

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