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Debate over ride-sharing regs: What to know about Tuesday's Assembly agenda

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  • Updated: March 20
  • Published March 20

The Anchorage Assembly meets Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the bottom floor of the Loussac Library.

Expect a big debate over local regulations for ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft.

Here's a rundown of the agenda.

Regulating Uber, ride-shares in Anchorage

Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Evans wants to set up local regulations for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, even though such companies are unlikely to come to Anchorage anytime soon without a change in state law. His ordinance deals with issues like background checks, insurance requirements and vehicle inspections.

The public hearing on Evans' ordinance is over. But debate could be extensive among Assembly members Tuesday night. Assembly chair Elvi Gray-Jackson said there were "lots" of proposed changes within the Assembly.

Expected Assembly action: Debate, then a vote.

Delays in other contentious measures: Scrap metal, drones

New record-keeping regulations for Anchorage metal dealers won't see a vote Tuesday. Ordinance sponsor Dick Traini is working with city attorneys on changes, Gray-Jackson said.

The Assembly also is postponing action on an ordinance aimed at restricting drone use above private property. That's because Assemblyman Patrick Flynn, the sponsor of the drone ordinance, won't be there Tuesday, Gray-Jackson said.  

Expected Assembly action: None.

Ethics code rewrite

City attorneys and the city Board of Ethics have rewritten the city's code of ethics, which sets ethical standards and conflict-of-interest rules for elected officials, city employees and members of boards and commissions. Officials said the main goal was to simplify the code and make it easier to navigate.

The new version before the Assembly Tuesday includes updates to clarify that municipal resources can be used for "education and outreach" and that allow gifts of tickets and food at civic or nonprofit-hosted events.  

Expected Assembly action: Public hearing, then vote.

Contracts

The agenda includes consulting contracts related to efforts by the administration of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to finish and launch Anchorage's beleaguered business software upgrade project, SAP, this summer. Four contracts total nearly $4.5 million to SAP, the company that created the software, for project management and support services.

Berkowitz said earlier this month that roughly $40 million spent on the project before he took office had "no measurable benefit" to the city.

Another contract on the Assembly agenda: a 10-year, $18.6 million contract with Alaska Communications Systems to install and run a major upgrade of the Anchorage police and fire departments' 911 system.

Expected Assembly action: Acceptance as part of consent agenda.

Ban on RV parking lot camping, youth Assembly rep floated

Among the items being introduced on Tuesday:

• A ban on overnight RV camping in business parking lots, such as Wal-Mart and Cabela's, from Assemblyman Eric Croft.

• An ordinance creating a non-voting "youth representative" on the Anchorage Assembly, from Assemblyman Patrick Flynn.

Expected Assembly action: Public hearings will be set.

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