At the end of today’s regular Anchorage Assembly meeting, Assembly member Kevin Cross announced his resignation. Cross was first elected to the Assembly in April 2022. He holds one of the two seats for Chugiak and Eagle River.
In his comments, Cross said that he only has twenty years of good knees and hips left in his life and that he wants to spend that time making actual accomplishments. He also said he wants to get away from politics.
Cross, a conservative, came under fire this summer – mostly from conservative media – for supporting an ordinance to simplify Anchorage’s zoning code to make it easier to build homes in Anchorage.
Cross’ resignation will not go into effect until April. This is to allow a special election for his seat to appear on April’s mayoral ballot for voters in Chugiak and Eagle River, avoiding a costly special election for the seat. It also means the Assembly will not have to appoint someone to serve in his place until the special election.
Here is his resignation statement:
In three days, we will start to see more daylight and before long another summer will be upon us. Shortly after it will be gone.
Some people measure life in years. Having grown up in Alaska, I measure life in summers since they’re short. Based on my calculations I have about 20 summers left in me. That’s only if my knees and hips hold up.
Prior to serving on the Assembly, I volunteered regularly working on construction projects for Neighbor Works, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warriors Projects, and other various outreach programs.
One of my most memorable projects was building a wheelchair ramp and front deck on the East Anchorage home of an elderly woman who had lost her leg from diabetes. The project took me three days and I worked alone. When done, she cried, gave me a hug, thanked me. Then we sat on her new porch in the late afternoon sun, and she shared loving stories of her deceased husband and daughter. Not once did she complain. She only expressed love and gratitude.
I have never filled with so much purpose and appreciation.
What we do here on the Assembly has great importance and very few people realize the amount of work we do, particularly the staff who are there to support us. My experience has been mostly hours and hours of reading code, legal opinions, department comments, community emails, answering calls, and deciphering graphs and making sense of flow charts to correct an ever-shifting sea of bureaucracy.
As important as our actions are, it is not why God put me here on earth. I will be going back to serving with my heart and hands at a personal level. I call it DeWalt Therapy. I will be reinvesting more time into my family and into lives of others through humble service free from politics.
In my heart I truly believe that no amount of money, no program, and no Assembly resolution can ever replace the compassion of human hands. I want to be a set of those hands and I figure I have 20 or less summers remaining in my life to do it.
Today I formally announce my resignation to occur no later than April 1st, 2024. This will allow my replacement to be placed on the upcoming ballet and save the Anchorage taxpayer the cost of a special election while also allowing District 2 to choose my successor.
Kevin Cross listens to fellow Assembly members speak on his resignation. Photo: Paxson Woelber