Anchorage’s municipal clerk, who manages city elections, is set to retire this summer

Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones is retiring June 30, the city Assembly said Thursday.

The municipal clerk manages the city’s elections, administers Assembly meetings and oversees business licensing, among other duties. The position is nonpartisan and is selected by the Assembly.

According to a written statement from the Assembly, Jones was first appointed to the position in 2012 by then-Assembly Chair Ernie Hall.

Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance in a statement credited Jones for her work on Anchorage’s vote-by-mail system, which Jones helped launch after the Assembly approved vote-by-mail in 2016.

“Additionally, she has helped the Assembly run meetings with accuracy and efficiency and oversaw several initiatives to improve access to the Assembly process, such as livestreaming meetings and making Assembly documents more readily available,” LaFrance said.

Jones said in a statement that she is “proud to be leaving the Municipality with a team of dedicated civil servants in the Municipal Clerk’s Office,” adding, “to say it has been an honor to serve would be an understatement.”

Mayor Dave Bronson, a critic of vote-by-mail elections, has targeted the clerk’s office on several fronts since his campaign for office, including launching an inquiry into the 2022 city election and proposing a ballot measure to make the municipal clerk an elected position, arguing Anchorage voters should have a say in who serves in the role. Assembly members killed that proposal last year, arguing, in part, that electing the city clerk would unnecessarily politicize the position.

LaFrance and Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant said in a statement Thursday that they “will begin to formulate the transition plan and hiring process for a new Municipal Clerk, using an open and transparent process.”