Anchorage

Bronson names Campbell, Demboski to top roles in administration

Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson said Monday that he is appointing former Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell and Amy Demboski, a former Anchorage Assembly member and deputy commissioner for the state Department of Commerce, to leadership roles in his administration.

Demboski will serve as Anchorage municipal manager and Campbell, who was also a member of Bronson’s transition team, will be his chief of staff.

They joined several other local players in conservative politics whom Bronson named to key city positions Monday, signaling a major shift from the current mayoral administration led by Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson.

Bronson’s team is focused on bringing in “those with experience, hard-charging work ethic and innovative spirit to support the mission of moving Anchorage towards a strong recovery in the face of unprecedented challenges,” he said during a news conference.

Demboski represented Chugiak-Eagle River on the Anchorage Assembly for about five years and served as Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s deputy chief of staff before taking on the Department of Commerce role. She previously ran for Anchorage mayor in 2015 but lost to former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.

“The mayor has made it very clear that public safety, a vibrant and thriving economy and an efficiently run city are some of his top goals, and I believe my decades of experience as well as my experience with the Assembly and in public service has made this a perfect marriage for me to join the city team,” Demboski said.

Campbell served as lieutenant governor under former Republican Gov. Sean Parnell. He served on the Anchorage Assembly for nine years beginning in 1986 and was also president and CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corp. He previously served as the adjutant general for the state and as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Other established conservatives appointed by Bronson include Mike Robbins, a Republican House District 26 chairman and one of Bronson’s opponents in this year’s mayoral election, and Portia Noble, who worked for the Alaska chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. Robbins will serve as executive director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, and Noble will serve as as the director of community engagement.

Bronson’s new appointments include multiple people who have run for city office, including Robbins and Adam Trombley, who unsuccessfully ran for Anchorage Assembly in 2016. Trombley is the incoming executive director of community development. Sami Graham — a retired educator and self-described conservative who narrowly lost an Anchorage School Board race this spring — will be the city’s librarian.

Niki Tshibaka, who is Bronson’s incoming director of human resources and was named assistant commissioner of the state education department in 2019, is married to Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican running in the 2022 election for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Lisa Murkowski.

In all, Bronson announced 20 new appointments to leadership roles and retained 13 other officials Monday.

The incoming mayor will take office Thursday. His administration will face immediate challenges, including revitalizing the city’s economy and the need to swiftly replace services for hundreds at the mass emergency homeless shelter at Sullivan Arena. His team is working on a plan to put up a large homeless shelter in East Anchorage by the end of September.

To accomplish many of his goals, Bronson will need the cooperation of the liberal-leaning Anchorage Assembly.

[Mayor-elect Bronson made attacking Assembly members central to his campaign. Now he needs to work with them.]

Assembly member Christopher Constant, who represents downtown, said a number of the higher-level appointees will need to be confirmed by the Assembly before they are permanently placed in the posts.

“I think there were a number of really good appointments and there were a number of appointments that are from people I have no idea about, so I look forward to being introduced to them and getting a sense of who they are,” Constant said. “And then there are a few that seem a little more challenging, and we’ll have to have some really thoughtful conversations about.”

During Monday’s press conference, Bronson also said he plans to reduce the size of the municipal government to reduce expenses and that some positions will go unfilled.

New appointees have been involved with the transition team’s efforts to prepare a report that will find ways to make such reductions, Bronson said. He did not provide details about the report’s findings or which positions may be cut.

New appointees:

• Municipal manager: Amy Demboski

• Chief of staff to the mayor: Craig Campbell

• Director of community engagement: Portia Noble

• Director of legislative affairs: Terrence Shanigan

• Director of boards and commissions: Stephanie Williams

• Chief fiscal officer: Travis Frisk

• Director of enterprise services: Kolby Hickel

• Director of Office of Management and Budget: Karl Raszkiewicz

• Director of human resources: Niki Tshibaka

• Director of Department of Health and Human Services: David Morgan

• Executive director of community development: Adam Trombley

• Director of public works: Lance Wilber

• Director of building services: Ronald Thompson

• Director of maintenance and operations: Saxton Shearer

• Director of real estate services: Christina Cope Hendrickson

• Purchasing director: Rachelle Alger

• Librarian: Sami Graham

• Director of information technology: Marcus Dahl

• Homeless coordinator: Dr. John Morris

• Executive director of Anchorage Community Development Authority: Mike Robbins

Retained directors:

• Director of the Port of Alaska: Steve Ribuffo

• General manager of Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility: Mark Corsentino

• Director of Solid Waste Services: Mark Spafford

• Director of parks and recreation: Josh Durand

• Director of project management and engineering: Kent Kohlhase

• Director of development services: Bob Doehl

• Director of planning: Michelle McNulty

• Municipal treasurer: Dan Moore

• Director of transportation: Jamie Acton

• Municipal projects director: Alden Thern

• Municipal controller: Molly Morrison

• Transportation inspector: Carrie Belden

• Director of Merrill Field Airport: Ralph Gibbs

Previously announced appointments:

• Anchorage Police Department chief: Ken McCoy

• Anchorage Fire Department chief: Doug Schrage

• Municipal attorney: Patrick Bergt

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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