Andrew Halcro has resigned as executive director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority (ACDA). In his resignation letter, obtained by the Landmine, he told Acting Anchorage Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, “During the last several months ACDA staff, board of directors and its private sector partners have experienced an alarming pattern of bad faith dealings with the MOA. The end result has made it impossible for me to continue to lead ACDA given the continued actions that have placed this agency and our private sector partners at risk.”
You can read the letter here.
Halcro also wrote, “In all honesty over the last several months I have felt like I have been leading this organization through the twilight zone.”
Halcro says his main reason for resigning was Quinn Davidson’s decision to not re-appoint the board’s chair and vice chair. He wrote:
The tipping point occurred last week when the MOA threw a wrench into our transit center project as our board was preparing to approve the agreement thus putting a $50 million development in jeopardy. In addition, the refusal to re-appoint ACDA’s board chair and vice chair during the most critical time in this agency’s history was inexplicable. In all honesty over the last several months I have felt like I have been leading this organization through the twilight zone.
Halcro went on to say the mayor’s staff has not delivered on their promises to ACDA:
After telling ACDA we couldn’t sell assets and recapitalize the agency to hedge against rainy days and complete existing projects, your staff promised our board that the MOA was going to deliver $5.7 million in exchange for our equity in the APD Headquarters building. For eight months, including the last five you have been mayor, your staff who work a combined 150 steps from your desk, have been making million dollar promises about relief. For eight months as ACDA board members your staff advocated and voted to pursue projects they knew we couldn’t afford without the money they promised to deliver. But they didn’t deliver. As of today they have yet to offer any coherent reason why they misled the board.
But the final straw was the removal of Terry Parks as the ACDA board chair. Over the last five years the success of ACDA in the development arena rests a lot on Terry’s shoulders. His years as a developer and property owner have given ACDA significant advantages in negotiating deals that will transform downtown.
Halcro was chosen to lead ACDA by former Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz after he was first elected mayor in 2015. Halcro has been in charge since. ACDA is a municipal corporation that operates EasyPark in Downtown Anchorage. According to their website, ACDA “works to encourage and facilitate responsible development and redevelopment in Anchorage by forming partnerships and working with the community.”
Quinn Davidson put out a press release today that referenced Halcro’s resignation letter. She also referenced changes to the board, which she said is to “better reflect the diversity in our community.”
Halcro concluded the letter by satating:
During the last five years I have been proud of the organization we have built, the private sector partnerships we have created and the work we have done in downtown. However I can no longer lead ACDA when the people I report to at the MOA have proven themselves to be destructive and untrustworthy.