Welcome to Anchorage Update
Welcome to the latest
newsletter from the mayor's office. This edition is full of good news about the
city's first flower celebration, a proposed solution to the University Lake dog
park conflict and opportunities for the public to have a voice in next year's
budget planning process. As always, send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org follow me on facebook or twitter.
Flower Power on proud display: First Festival of Flowers a resounding
of flower-loving citizens showed up in force earlier this month to celebrate
and raise money for the city's famed flower displays. Live music, planting
seminars, flower sales and flower-themed arts and crafts brought out the crowds
to Town Square Park that is home to some of the city's more elaborate flower
beds. In total, an estimated $10,000 was raised, which will go to the City of Flowers
endowment fund. It is hoped that endowment earnings eventually will offset and
even replace the Municipality of Anchorage's funding for the flowers, making
them less susceptible to budget fluctuations. Special thanks to the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. and P&M Gardens
for their support of the event.
Mayor proposes multi-pronged
solution to University Lake dog park controversy |
the popular University Lake dog park flared up earlier this month with both
park users and park neighbors citing a lack of parking and clearly defined
boundaries. Dog owners stated that they didn't know where the park boundaries
were, and Alaska Pacific University (APU) representatives pointed to private
land being inappropriately (and illegally) accessed by park users. Given the
park's popularity with the community, Mayor Sullivan seeks a solution designed
to meet the needs of both interest groups. He recently proposed:
1. Augment available parking by 20 spaces this
of the existing pullout. The lot will be located on city land.
Build a fence this summer to establish a firm boundary between the dog park/University
Lake trail and the APU soccer field. Signage also will be added so dog owners
know exactly where park land ends and private land begins.
Extend parking at University Lake Drive in 2014. This long-term solution will
take a bit more time to complete but will extend University Lake Drive in conjunction
with APU. Once complete, it will provide space for 20 additional vehicles.
above items will require Assembly approval as well as cooperation from APU. All
parties are hopeful that agreement can be reached soon.
Community budget discussions
invite the public to weigh in on tough budget choices|
Given next year's budget
challenges expected to result in a $20 million reduction, Mayor Dan Sullivan
announced a series of community conversations that will provide input to his
budget decision-making. To assist in designing these discussions, the
Municipality has retained the services of Viewpoint Learning, a leader in
creating opportunities for citizens to have constructive input into public
This process will be very
different from citizens' traditional role in the budget process, which usually
is limited to three minutes of commentary during an Assembly public hearing
after the Mayor has introduced the budget. Instead, these conversations will center on objective information about
municipal finances and the choices that members of the Administration and
Assembly will face in terms of the level of services provided and amount of
property taxes collected.
Viewpoint Learning was selected
to design and lead this process because of its experience in designing what
they call "ChoiceDialogues" that differ from polls and focus groups in learning
what citizens think. While polls provide
an accurate snapshot of people's current thinking, they are not designed to
predict the future direction of people's views on important issues when they
have not completely made up their minds. ChoiceDialogues enable people - through dialogue with their peers - to
develop their own fully worked through views on issues even if they previously
have not given them much thought. Participants will work through several scenarios of spending and revenue
choices and then delve further into the options and trade-offs within each.
Specific meeting dates and
locations will be announced later.
New public transportation vehicles hit
Anchorage streets, replace aging
Fifteen new People Mover buses will begin serving Anchorage residents this month. Each 2010
Flyer bus is equipped with automatic vehicle locators, passenger
computer aided dispatching. Additional features include larger bike
hold three bicycles and a video camera system which will enhance
safety and security. The new fleet will replace nearly half of the 1998
which have traveled more than 500,000 miles each. Fifty seven percent of
purchase is funded with Federal Highway Administration Congestion
& Air Quality funds, 36 percent is funded with American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act funds (ARRA) and seven percent with local bond matching
funds. Two other Public Transportation
divisions also will be putting new vehicles on the streets this summer.
AnchorRIDES will replace seven vehicles and Share-A-Ride will replace
and have one to expand service.
Port of Anchorage opens to the
public this summer for annual tours |
Port of Anchorage will offer free tours every Sunday this summer,
June 27 through August 29. The tours
will be conducted every half hour from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
tours depart from the Alaska Railroad Corporate Office located at 327
Ship Creek Avenue, where free parking is available. Lasting
approximately one hour, the tour will
include a drive through the port to view the expansion project now in
progress. The tour stops at the Port Administrative
Offices for a visit to the observation deck, where guests will view
loading and unloading cargo bound for Anchorage and the rest of Alaska.
information and directions, please call the Tour Hotline at 343-6230 or
visit the website at www.muni.org/port.
- June 17
Army Birthday All-Ranks Ball
- June 19
of Mayor's Marathon (5K, half marathon, and marathon races)