We are asking that you vote yes on Proposition 13 regarding filling a vacancy in the office of the mayor.
The proposed change will make clear in the Anchorage Charter when a special election must be held to replace a mayor and provides clear timelines. This is very similar to a proposal we put forward in early 2022. It was important then but even more important now. We thank Anchorage Assembly member Kevin Cross for carrying on the effort.
When former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz left office in October 2020 (with more than eight months left in his second term), there was confusion and concern that a special election should have been held quickly to fill that seat. To avoid that in the future, we need a clear statement on when a special election would be held.
The need increased when the Assembly passed AO 2022-60(S), spelling out procedures for removing a mayor for various causes. This created the possibility that an Assembly could remove a mayor in April and not replace the mayor until after the regular election the following year with the newly elected mayor seated July 1. That’s 14 months the chair of the Assembly would fill the seat – almost half of a mayor’s term. It seems crazy that this would ever happen, but that it is at all possible should send shivers up your spine.
Proposition 13 would prevent that and less extreme lengths of time when a mayor’s seat would be filled by the chair of the assembly.
We urge your yes vote on Proposition 13.
Crystal Kennedy is a former Anchorage Assembly member that represented Eagle River, Chugiak and Birchwood. John Weddleton is former Anchorage Assembly member that represented South Anchorage, Girdwood and Turnagain Arm.