The Assembly will soon appoint a temporary member to replace Harriet Drummond, who was elected to the state House. The voters of West Anchorage will get to choose a permanent replacement in April.
As a former assembly member, I know this process intimately. It brings out politics at its worst, when positioning for power and secret deals trump all other considerations. Each political faction tries to pick a person who can go into the spring election with an incumbent advantage and win for their side.
Instead, the Assembly should follow a good model used at least once in the past. Appoint an experienced former member who pledges not to run for the seat in April. Such a person will be able to fill the job without learning the ropes, and the appointment won’t influence the election. The politics in the decision can be minimized.
Matt Claman, who formerly represented West Anchorage on the Assembly, has volunteered for this short-term role. The Assembly should take him up on it.
— Charles Wohlforth