Covid-19 matters to Bronson… when it comes to cutting
After railing against the assembly’s attempts to curtail the spread of covid-19, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson's suddenly concerned about covid-19... to justify vetoes to public safety and education.
Good evening, Alaska!
In this edition: Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson issued his vetoes on Tuesday night, eliminating pretty much all the changes that the Anchorage Assembly added when it unanimously approved the budget last week. The veto and the imminent override aren’t all that surprising, but what’s remarkable is that the Bronson administration is suddenly concerned about the pandemic’s impact on the city’s finances… almost like it’s bad for business. But, of course, it’s political. Oh, and the city’s new ballot tracking system got its launch and a thoroughly enjoyable reply all.
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Covid-19 matters… when it comes to cutting
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson made his vetoes to the city’s budget on Tuesday night, deleting pretty much everything that the Anchorage Assembly had put in there. That includes funding for police officers in schools, community grants, building inspectors and some early education grants. Among the justification are more or less what we’ve come to expect from the Dunleavy administration: There’s not enough money, the program isn’t needed, the cuts somehow won’t affect services. But what really stood out is Bronson’s apparent change-of-tune on the pandemic and the emergence of the omicron variant of the virus.
“Without a valid funding source and with the new COVID variant and bond rating concerns,” Bronson said, “my administration cannot validate or certify the funding source increases that the Assembly attempted to provide for in their amendments.”
This is coming from a guy who as generally claimed that it’s the public health mandates—not the virus itself—that’s driven the bulk of the negative economic outcomes experienced throughout the course of the pandemic. He’s made opposing any meaningful health measures—including expansive testing—a key position of his campaign and central to his administration, which has seemed hellbent on driving out the public health officials who worked under the previous administration and replacing them with similar skeptics. On the campaign trail, he said, “This pandemic—if there was a pandemic—was over last summer.”