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Assembly East Anchorage: Adam Trombley

Three years ago I made three promises: create private sector jobs, minimize the growth of taxes and fund a community plan for East Anchorage. I have delivered on these three promises.

With unanimous support of all Assembly members, I passed an ordinance that created a competitive marketplace for building plan review. Architecture and engineering businesses have expanded to meet the demand. A finalized building permit used to take five to nine weeks; now it takes three to five days -- that alone has saved consumers thousands of dollars. Now housing is more "affordable."

During my three years on the Assembly, Anchorage has seen the lowest growth in property taxes in over 18 years. We have retired more debt than we have accumulated and we have placed more into savings than ever before. This has allowed the city's credit rating to increase to AAA.

The top four budget spending items are police ($96 million), fire ($85 million), public works ($66 million) and debt service ($55 million). With the AAA bond rating, our debt costs will decrease, freeing up more dollars for police officers, firefighters, public transportation and many other services, all without having to increase taxes.

East Anchorage has been shortchanged when it comes to planning. Other parts of Anchorage have funded community plans (Hillside District Plan, Girdwood District Plan and the West Anchorage District Plan). Funding for an East Anchorage District Plan had either been vetoed from the budget or not proposed by previous Assembly members. In my first year on the Assembly I was able to acquire funding for the East Anchorage District Plan.

There has been a tremendous amount of misinformation surrounding what AO 37 actually accomplishes. First, it is not a "union-busting" ordinance. There are items in AO 37 that benefit labor and management. For example, it benefits labor and management not to negotiate contracts for longer than three years. Why? The city cannot accurately project revenue past three years. If revenue falls short (2009), the city is still required to meet the contract requirements. This results in layoffs.

Employees and their families suffer, the city suffers from a reduction in staff and the public suffers because services are not as effective. I voted for AO 37. I also voted to repeal it. While labor and management benefit from aspects of AO 37, we should accomplish this through a more collaborative process.

By Municipal Charter the Assembly sets the School District's upper spending limit. Pete Petersen has accused me of "firing teachers"; that is not within any Assembly member's ability -- that is a decision of the School Board. The Assembly voted to assume one-third the cost of the school resource officers (cops in schools), while the remaining two-thirds would be covered by ASD. I was disappointed to see the School Board use those dollars to fund a new program instead of retaining teachers. It would be wiser to cut administrative staff than fire teachers.

During my campaign, I have remained positive, run on my accomplishments and defended myself against outright lies. Nothing Pete Petersen says about me is true. Petersen claims I voted for tennis courts. However, I voted not to fund the $10.5 million tennis court in Spenard and voted "yes" only to accept the Legislature's $4.4 million capital allocation to the city -- which can be used anywhere. Petersen claims I've cut police. Not true. I even tried to transfer funds from the Planning Department to the Police Department for additional patrol officers. Petersen claims I voted to eliminate sprinkler systems in assisted living homes. No, I voted to eliminate the requirement that Stuckagain Heights residents retroactively put sprinkler systems in their homes, costing millions. Petersen claims I voted to raise bus fares for disabled vets. Not true. All vets are given a 50 percent discount on fares. Petersen claims I increased the budget by $38 million. Again, not true.

I love Anchorage, where I was raised. Like my father, I graduated from East High. I'm proud to be an East Sider where my wife, Stephanie, and I have chosen to raise our two daughters. I want to make a better Anchorage and East Side for my two daughters, Tatum and Tess, and all children.

By ADAM TROMBLEY

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