Anchorage’s maintenance and operations director resigns

Saxton Shearer, director of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Maintenance and Operations department, is leaving his position to take a job outside city government.

“I have been afforded an opportunity in the private sector that will allow me to continue pursuing my passion for project management that I could not pass up,” Shearer said in a written statement from Mayor Dave Bronson’s office Wednesday afternoon.

His last day in the position will be May 26, and the administration “is actively recruiting to fill the position,” according to the statement.

Bronson spokesman Hans Rodvik did not immediately respond to questions about Shearer’s departure, including whether there would be an interim appointee to oversee the department as the summer construction and road repair season gets into full swing.

Before coming to work for the municipality after Bronson took office in 2021, Shearer worked in project management in the private sector.

“Saxton has been a steady and tremendous asset to our team. His work on the Hiland Avalanche stands out as a highlight during his time with us,” Bronson said in the statement, referring to an avalanche in Eagle River last year that cut off road access for hundreds of residents and took municipal crews more than a week to clear.

“I wish him nothing but the best in his career going forward,” Bronson said.


Shearer was involved in approving the construction of a now-stalled project to create a large homeless shelter in East Anchorage that is at the center of legal action against the city. The Assembly halted work on it after learning the Bronson administration spent millions of dollars in public money for construction that was not approved by the Assembly.

A letter threatening legal action from fired Municipal Manager Amy Demboski in January accused Bronson and another top official of pressuring Shearer to move ahead with the project, and alleged the mayor said Shearer would “take the fall” for the project. The mayor has said he will not comment on the allegations.

There has been a cascade of other Bronson administration resignations in recent months and weeks. They include the acting city attorney; Bronson’s deputy chief of staff; the city’s human resources director; the mayor’s chief of staff; the Solid Waste Services director; the library’s deputy director; and the city’s chief fiscal officer.

Zachariah Hughes

Zachariah Hughes covers Anchorage government, the military, dog mushing, subsistence issues and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. He also helps produce the ADN's weekly politics podcast. Prior to joining the ADN, he worked in Alaska’s public radio network, and got his start in journalism at KNOM in Nome.