Ever feel like you’re on a sinking ship?
By Frank Dahl
October 14, 2020
The turn of events in the Municipality of Anchorage over the last week has caused such a sensation for me. We’re off course and perilously close to the rocks.
The MOA’s logo is fitting with its vessel and anchor. Maybe we need to add a lifebuoy to the logo, too?
The spectacle from our mayoral leadership is unfortunate. And the irony is three years ago I was encouraged by a restaurateur, resource development advocate and thoughtful single mother named Rebecca Logan who was the incumbent mayor’s challenger.
I recall one of Ms. Logan’s ads highlighted Anchorage’s high murder and crime rate and reminded voters we don’t need headlines of this nature that place a dark cloud over our communities, but rather an engaged, ethical mayor that steers us away from storms.
Float ahead a bit to the present, and look what we have. We’re in the national headlines – and still for the wrong reasons.
Sans Mayor Berkowitz in another week, the Anchorage Assembly is still liberal and anti-business by about nine members, give or take a few on select policies.
The Assembly’s most recent emergency order extension to the end of November is not just outrageous, but lacks efficacy and merit. Recall this is the 5th emergency declaration extension. It’s a shortsighted, selfish directive that continues to lessen patronage of businesses, adversely affect commerce, and leak into education and transportation sectors resulting in travel limitations and empty classrooms.
Enough already! Time for a new crew.
We really need Assembly members in coming years who are business savvy, with kids or grandkids in local schools, and who have neighbors and fellow church members and members of the citizenry who express opinions and concerns. Experience and empathy with what voters are suffering is imperative. It will ensure a mayor the likes of Ethan Berkowitz can never harm our city again.
We need more veterans serving in government as decision and rule makers. We need law enforcement officers, teachers, nurses and medical practitioners… The more actual business owners (not shareholders and investors) on the Assembly, the better, because they feel the pain of fiscal debilitation caused by overreaching rules like we’ve faced the last 6+ months in Anchorage. We need candidates to run for office that have signed paychecks, met bottom lines and were accountable.
What we have today is a broken government and a collective of incompetent policymakers. No, maybe not members like Allard, Kennedy, and Weddleton, but the majority of them.
Is it a Republican vs Democrat evaluation on who is superior? I’m not sure. But fiscal and social conservatism matter to me, and likely to many more in Anchorage. They need to vote their conscience!
For now, about the only hopeful light on the horizon is a 2021 April mayoral election. It may very well be the most important in the Municipality’s history because we’re close to plummeting to the bottom of whatever moral, fiscal and social hurricane we’re currently adrift in and getting battered by.
I hope our next mayor holds tight to a moral compass and is guided by it as he takes the helm.
Smooth sailing is possible with the right admiral and crew. Otherwise, we’ll truly be a sinking ship at a great expense mostly to future generations.
Frank Dahl is a boating enthusiast. He has owned bars, restaurants, and lodges throughout Alaska and in the Lower 48 for over five decades including Blues Central at the Chef’s Inn. As the founder of Anchorage CHARR and a former Board Member of Alaska CHARR, he has been active in hospitality and tourism industry policy development for years. He is a member of Rotary and a recipient of an Alaska Legislative citation for public service.