The Anchorage Assembly will vote to provide transition funds for the incoming Bronson administration at their next meeting on June 22, according to Assemblymember Chris Constant. Transition funds were budgeted for Dan Sullivan when he was elected in 2009 and Ethan Berkowitz when he was elected in 2015. However, no transition funds were included in the current budget, which was passed in November. Transition funds are part of the mayor’s budget. The Bronson transition team has been operating with limited resources during the transition.
I inquired with Constant about this on Thursday. He said it appeared to be an oversight, and then reached out to Bronson’s people to let them know he wanted to address this. Constant said he discussed it with Assemblymember Suzanne LaFrance, who was recently voted acting chair of the Assembly (Constant was elected acting vice-chair), and they felt it was fair that Bronson’s transition team is provided with transition funds. Transition teams needs money for things like office space, office supplies, internet, and salaries.
The 2009 budget shows that $60,000 was included for Sullivan’s transition. The 2015 budget does not show money for Berkowitz’s transition, but they 2016 budget shows $200,000 removed from the budget for “2015 mayoral transition and IA cash-out.” I was not able to determine what “IA cash-out” is, but members of Berkowitz’s transition team said they remember about $30,000 in transition funds.
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A spokesperson for the Bronson transition team said they are aware of the issue and are following it.