The 2022 budget proposal from Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration would reduce city spending by $7.5 million, cutting 53 total positions from the city.
Bronson announced the proposed budget during a news conference on Friday. He said few cuts were made to core services such as police, fire, health and street plowing and that his administration prioritized efficiency and slowing the growth in government spending.
”This budget reflects months of work across all departments to evaluate our programs, and explores all possibilities to maximize savings,” Bronson said. “As a result, I sincerely believe we are on a strong glide path to a more effective and efficient MOA, while maintaining the services Anchorage has grown to expect.”
The proposed budget totals about $550 million, about 1.3% less than the revised 2021 budget of $557.5 million.
Karol (Karl) Raszkiewicz, the city’s director of management and budget, said each department explored the potential for a 5% reduction, but the final cuts were not equal across the board.
Of the 53 positions cut, 34 are currently vacant and 19 are occupied, he said. Those losing a job would be able to apply for vacancies with the city, of which there are about 50 full time positions unfilled, he said.
The largest cut, about 14%, came directly from the mayor’s office, he said.
The budget proposal also shows a reorganization of the executive branch. Some departments would be moved or dissolved, and new ones created. For example, the library would become a division of Parks and Recreation.
Also at the news conference, City Manager Amy Demboski said that the city is asking the Anchorage School District to reimburse 75% of the costs of the school resource officer program, which is part of a partnership with the Anchorage Police Department.
“Historically, when this was first started it was a 50-50 split between the municipality and the school district, and some years later, the municipality assumed the full cost of it,” Demboski said.