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Time to Storm the Castle! Sullivan's Budget

OK, boys and girls.  The election is (almost) over and now it’s time to redirect our focus just a tad.  It’s kind of like when the dishwasher overflows, and the dog is barking to get in, and someone drops a glass…  Then when you finally get it all sorted out, you look over in the pantry and you see the five year old elbow deep in a bag of chocolate chips, with scared eyes and melted goo all over his face.  He thinks because you haven’t had time to pay attention during all the chaos, that he could just keep doing what he’s been doing and you’d just never catch on. 

Silly Mayor.  We did catch on, and we are none too pleased with how you’ve been handling the chocolate situation in the pantry… er… I mean the budget situation in the Municipality.

One of the things I think is great about how horribly to-the-bone bad our mayor is, is that literally, people from around the globe know it. There were thousands following the testimony for and against Ordinance 64 (see below), and who read The Mudflats on a regular basis and just can’t believe it.  He really does make a great villain, and I’ll get emails periodically from all parts of the globe that say, “I though MY mayor was bad… he’s nothing compared to that Dan Sullivan of yours.”  They always make me smile.  And to prove how much you probably already know about Dan, and give you a refresher before I tell you what’s coming up Tuesday night… let’s take a little stroll down bad memory lane.

  1. Mayor Dan started off on a bad note when he collected $12,000 before he even started the job. And that was when we already had an acting Mayor, so we got one for the price of two.
  2. We didn’t like his $50,000 witch hunt when he trumped up charges and made everyone think that his predecessor Mayor (now Senator) Mark Begich had violated ethics and the law.  And we were glad when you were proved wrong, but irritated that you manufactured this imaginary budget crisis.
  3. And who can forget after dozens of hours of testimony, Ordinance 64 which would have added the words “sexual orientation” to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance for housing, education, employment and public accommodations was finally passed by the Assembly!  And then he vetoed it.
  4. Small business owners and retail employees were none too pleased when you decided to cut bus service on Black Friday last year.
  5. We didn’t like it when you bilked the city for $193,000 for a non-existent life insurance policy pay-out for your dad.  And we did not appreciate that he cashed that check lickety split before we could do anything about it.
  6. There was nothing lickety split about the way he handled compensation for another insurance claim – for firefighter Andy Mullen.  Mullen died at 45, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters. The City originally disputed his claim, and relented only 12 days before Mullen passed away, after spending his last weeks fighting the municipality to make sure his family would be OK.
  7. Speaking of firefighters, we didn’t like it when he instituted rolling closures of fire houses to save money, risking the lives of Anchorage residents.  We also didn’t like it when you cut special fire department rescue services like the Swiftwater Rescue Team, the Dive Team, the Wilderness Rescue team, and people from the Haz Mat team, High Angle, and Urban Search & Rescue teams… and on and on.
  8. We were not amused when you somehow found money to hire a young lady who used to work long late hours on your campaign to be a “party planner” for special events, especially because nobody ever needed to hire a “party planner” before. But this one was paid thousands by the city that was supposedly broke.
  9. Sullivan also somehow found money to join the state’s “War on Whales” throwing a bunch of city cash at fighting to keep Cook Inlet belugas off the endangered species list.
  10. We did rejoice when he came in third place for the 2009 Muddies. He almost pulled of the silver, but ended up with the bronze right after Sarah and Todd Palin in the list of most reprehensible politicians in the state.  That’s saying something.
  11. We were stunned and horrified when after a homeless man was found crushed to death in a dumpster at the mall, he said, “There’s always going to be people that choose a certain lifestyle that results in tragic deaths like this.”
  12. We were mildly amused when the mayor favorited “drunk and horny” porn star Bree Olson on his official Municipal Twitter page. We’re sure he didn’t know it would show up, but anyone who uses Twitter knows it didn’t happen “by accident.”
  13. And who could forget when he refused to close a trail after someone got mauled by a bear.  No “nanny city” for him.  “We should be able to use those trails” he said.  Well, yes.  We should… unless there’s a giant hungry predator waiting for us.  And if some kid gets eaten… well, they’ve learned a lesson about responsibility then, haven’t they?
  14. Then, he refused to spend the funds that had already been set aside for speed humps in East Anchorage.  Remember when that little girl got hit by a car? Sure sounds like there was a need, and he had the money all set aside, specifically for that purpose in that area. But we’re becoming convinced that he just likes being “the evil mayor” in the film of his life.  No traffic calming measures. Period.
  15. And then, how can we forget how he tried to stop Anchorage firefighters from participating in their annual “fill the boot” fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy. The mayor said that firefighters were “panhandling,” but kids who need it don’t see it that way.  I put an extra $20 in the boot after the Assembly thwarted him.  I told the handsome firefighter that he could take my donation and stick it in the mayor’s eye.  He smiled and winked at me.

16+ There’s just so much to mention, like wanting to build houses on designated park land, your unceasing antagonism toward public safety officers, and municipal workers, your cries of poverty while refusing to tax to the voter approved limit…  It just never ends.

And now, it’s budget time.  Well, after all that, what could be left?  I’ll tell you.

Deleting positions for eight police officers, eliminating the police academy, moving detectives to patrol, reducing support for Youth Court.

Deleting positions for eight fire fighters, eliminating Eagle River Truck 11, eliminating Engineer 10 from the Upper Hillside, eliminating Truck 3 in Airport Heights, eliminating a fire academy.

Eliminating funding for AnchorRides!

Deleting funding for Project Access providing health services to low income people, deleting a food safety inspector from the Health Dept.

Canceling morning lap swims at Dimond Pool, and West pools, closing Service pool during the summer, limiting Bartlett pool hours. 

Closing Samson-Dimond Library, reducing community and arts grants, reducing security patrol at the Loussac Library.

Reducing Boys and Girls Club funding at the Northeast Community Center, reducing the Covenant House Grant for homeless kids.

HERE is a website with all the details about these cuts.

So, how much will this cost Anchorage residents?  What’s the price for keeping our communities safe, our pools open, our kids withe libraries, services for the poor and the homeless, saving jobs? Everything the mayor wants to cut would cost an Anchorage resident:

FOURTEEN CENTS A DAY.

The mayor may not be willing to pay 14 cents a day for all that, but he did just give his own 122 executive staff a raise. Wasn’t that nice?  They’ll each have an average salary increase of $2,683 in the upcoming year. All this is happening while he’s asking the unions to make concessions. You may not have a firestation, and your kids may not have a library, or a pool, but at least the mayor and his staff are all taken care of.

Hackles up yet?  See you at the Loussac Library Assembly Chambers Tuesday, November 23 at 6pm.  That’s the place to come to tell the Assembly and the Mayor what you think.  It’ll be a great time.  (IF perchance the meeting is cancelled or postponed because of weather, I’ll post it right up top.)

Can’t make it?  Then you can use one simple email to get your message to the entire Assembly.  wwmas@muni.org

Or call the Clerk at 907-343-4311 to get a message to all members.

Comments

comments

Comments
36 Responses to “Time to Storm the Castle! Sullivan's Budget”
  1. Bill Zeddies says:

    As a former city worker, I have seen so much waste, broken promises, dragged out negotiations and lunacy when it came to money. I needed a special chair after being permanently injured. The city’s risk management office paid thousands to an attorney group to fight the cost. They also paid my atty costs and still had to buy the chair. Cost of chair so I could retrain: 700. Cost of attornies: approx. 10,000.
    Since I mentioned injuries, the city refused to fix manholes at 100, 000 dollars estimated cost. My bills from 1998 to the time they kicked me to the curb: 500,000. There were 12 people out from these injuries that did not have to occur, that they were warned about daily. I had to go to Osha three times to finally get those manholes fixed. So, they would not rehire me to do absolutely anything. Street Manager Mabry said the entire city had no job for me, so I retrained at their cost.
    In order to plow snow in Muldoon, downtown, south anchorage, oceanview, etc., we had to drive all the way from the International airport with the equipment.
    So, look at the waste idiotic managers are tossing out the window day after day.

  2. Slightly O/T-
    Guess who came in THIRD in the disco ball championship?

    MS

  3. Desa Jacobsson says:

    I couldn’t storm the castle so I sent an email. Surprisingly, I got a response from Ernie Hall. Speaking of storming the castle….how come nobody is raising a ruckus over the Anchorage Baptist Temple of Doom over their lack of paying taxes? The Sadduecees, Pharisees and Hypocrites are flourishing. Never mind that the Sweet Lord Jesus commanded them to render unto Ceasar….

    Now…..WHO CAN WE GET TO RUN AGAINST THIS……THIS…CAD??? How about Honeman? Croft?

  4. marlys says:

    On the email right now, we may even make it to the Loussac, although it would be late in the meeting.
    Thank You for this reference, I apprieciate that you do the homework for us.
    I will get to giving them my 14 cents on the on safety budget cuts….penny pinched is dollar dumn.

  5. B747mx says:

    To All Members of the Anchorage Assembly,

    I am appalled at Mayor Sullivan’s budget proposal. To cut funding to the disabled, our libraries, the fire and police departments just to name a few is completely unacceptable! I grew up here in Anchorage and to cut these and other necessary services is wrong. I pay my taxes and I understand that it costs money to run a city. I do not believe Mayor Sullivan’s staff needed a raise, it has not been earned. I do not believe Mayor Sullivan needs a party planner, no other mayor has had one. Mayor Sullivan wastes our money on fighting NOAA and the federal government concerning our beluga whales. Mayor Sullivan wasted $50,000 on a witch hunt over the city budget, looking to point fingers because Mayor Begich did not know the entire U.S. economy was going to tank. Now Mayor Sullivan says we as a city can not afford to take care of our citizens. This is wrong!! Alaskan’s do not pay income tax, we do not have a state sales tax, we are given money through the Permanent Fund just for living in Alaska. This is insane. By the time the two of us cash our Permanent Fund checks if we were to apply it to our property taxes we only pay $700.00 a year out of pocket in taxes. I will pay the extra money in property taxes to keep the fire station open, the libraries open, fund the arts and give all the members of our community access to public transportation. True Alaskan’s do not abandon their own.

    Sincerely

  6. FFEric says:

    To be totally fair to the Mayor, he doesn’t want to eliminate Truck 3 at Airport Heights, but he does want to keep an ambulance from opening in Sand Lake a year after the citizens voted to put it into service. There were no smoke and mirrors, everyone knew exactly what the economic conditions of the City was at that time. And still, citizens voted to increase the tax cap because they wanted the service. And our good Mayor is going against the will of the people!

    If you’re interested in what he’s doing to the Fire Department, please go check out http://www.afdstatus.org

  7. laingirl says:

    Your mayor sounds like our Texas governor: cut those things that mean the most to the residents but don’t cut anything for yourself or your buddies. Giving themselves raises under the present conditions is beyond awful. They’re salaries should be reduced, as well as their benefits.

  8. laingirl says:

    Your mayor sounds like our Texas governor: cut those things that mean the most to the residents but don’t cut anything for yourself or your buddies. Giving themselves raises under the present conditions is beyond awful. They’re salaries should be reduced, as well as their benefits.

  9. Chaim says:

    Wasn’t there a legal challenge to that so-called “life insurance” payment? I remember that was really egregious.

    Maybe a couple of burly firemen should show up on Mr. Sullivan’s doorstep and say something like, “Mayor Sullivan, we understand that in these times of fiscal austerity and budget cutting, the only city employees who are treated well are those who go to bed with you — so that’s why we’re here.”

  10. Leota2 says:

    It seems that all Mayor Dan needs now is a coat made of Dalmatians and a cigarette holder.

  11. ks sunflower says:

    BTW – meant to say this earlier: great graphic. Strikes the right tone – sad and somber.

    Here’s hoping the people stand up against Sullivan. They can stop him if they want to and work together to do it,.

  12. akiceman says:

    Excellent list! However I think you should reconsider #12 (Bree Olson). Follow any politician or public figure on FB or Twitter and eventually that person is going to have something embarrassing pop up. Accounts get hacked on a regular basis, the wrong button gets pressed (on Twitter the Favorites is in the same place the Delete is on FB). Just last week Hollis French had a buxom lady wearing lingerie tag French and invite all his friends to click over to her home page. Does this reflect poorly on Hollis French? No…. all it shows is that you can’t always control the message in social media.

    • AKMuckraker says:

      You cannot favorite someone on Twitter unless you are actually on that page on purpose. So someone (the mayor or someone with access and password to the mayor’s account) had to be on that page using the official Dan Sullivan municipal twitter account in order for that to happen. She didn’t reach out to him. Someone was actually on that page and clicked that they liked it. Just the way it works. You can click the link and read the old post which should explain it.

  13. EyeOnAlaska says:

    Let’s take away the firetruck that serves Sully’s neighborhood and see how he likes it. We have no fire hydrants here in Bear Valley so an immediate response is needed to have any chance of saving a house on fire. Mayor Sullivan, you sir, are an idiot.

    • CO almost native says:

      I’ll bet he’s a cousin of the Queen of Tweets- maybe twice removed. Too bad you can remove him early.

  14. Progressive in VA says:

    I’m beginning to think that a good many of our “elected” leaders reside in a land called Griftopia. It occupies the same physical space that the rest of us live in, but all other laws of physics, morality, economics, science, etc. are vastly different. It’s kind ind of like Seinfeld’s Bizarro World, but with guaranteed financial perks

  15. Sarafina says:

    1) How much longer until he’s up for election?

    2) Why are people so passive in Alaska? I’ve seen a lot of whining but not action.

    3) Here in Fort Worth when they tried to close 3 branch libraries private funds were found to help for at least part-time hours, amid a ton protests. What’s wrong with you all?

    4) Closing fire houses and cutting police? Why aren’t you people IN THE STREETS? Winter has just barely started, I grew up in North Dakota and Anchorage winter weather is better than rural ND.

  16. Dagian says:

    Okay–I’ve read the article–I don’t see how this man could possibly win again.

    Seriously. I imagine there are plenty of people who would vote for VOLDEMORT rather than this…schmuck.

    Ooh, a new campaign bumper sticker?

    Voldemort for Parnell

    Parnell vs. Voldemort
    There is no difference

    If your kid can’t read this:
    Thank Parnell!

    House burned to ground?
    Thank Parnell

    http://www.makestickers.com/

    I’ve used this firm several times. It’s easy to customize the stickers (fonts, colours, etc.) and VERY cost-effective. I had specialty bumper stickers made up for the parents of the kids who earned scholarships from the music booster program. They were a hit. Which reminds me, for the parents of graduating music students:

    No Longer my Kid’s Roadie

  17. Dagian says:

    *off-topic alert!*

    Bubbles–I got my package yesterday! Thing 1 and I were so excited to get REAL MAIL; I LOVE my button pin too. The only drawback? I may have to hide my snazzy new scarf from Thing 1. Too many of my clothes have wandered into the child’s room (where towels go to die), never to re-emerge. Not this item!

    Sorry folks, carry on.

  18. WakeUpAmerica says:

    Geez! Do these ethics-challenged people just gravitate to Alaska? You seem to have more than the usual number of scumbags. I just might call to let them know how bad this looks outside of Alaska.

  19. Laurie says:

    People like this count on their constituents not paying attention. Hope you all can hold his feet to the fire.

  20. Alaska Pi says:

    ok- a partial list of questions:
    Will this “savings” offset the likely cost to homeowners when their insurance companies realize the chances of total loss regarding fires increase dramatically with the reduced fire intervention capacity?
    What will be the initial and ongoing costs to the city to mothball and maintain unused public facilities or is Mr Sullivan proposing to just shut the doors and walk away?
    I’m not even going to start a list questioning what he thinks he’s saving anyone by reducing opportunities for kids in ANC…when folks think investments in all our children are a waste or not affordable we have no future…

    Why does this stink of blackmail to force city employees to take pay cuts more than anything else ?

    Dear ANC neighbors-
    please rise up and fight for your city.
    Mr Sullivan seems to be working to change the very face of ANC with his budgetary pen.
    It’s one thing for people to decide to reduce services in the face of real shortfall.
    It’s quite another to let an elected official frame all the rules of engagement and options for action .
    It’s your city. not Mr Sullivan’s.

    • ks sunflower says:

      I admire your passion! I hope it is contagious.

      You are asking great questions which I hope provoke the citizens of Anchorage into demanding answers.

      Way to go, Alaska PI!

  21. womanwithsardinecan says:

    Is there a provision in the law to impeach the mayor? I’ll bet you have the votes by now, since Dapper Dan has been busy making enemies out of the entire city.

  22. LibertyLover says:

    Umm… did you know the guy was like this when he was voted into office?

    • Alaska Pi says:

      yes- plenty of folks did.
      Voting was very light though…
      I always wonder about folks who don’t take local elections seriously- especially in our home rule cities here where WHO has these jobs is very important .

      • ks sunflower says:

        Great point, Alaska Pi. Local elections affect our everyday lives more immediately. Wish I knew why people don’t get that. Glad you do, though.

  23. I do hereby give my Mudflats friends express permission to build a cardboard cutout in my likeness for all present and future protests. Just don’t show little children,it my cause psychological damage to inquisitive young minds.I can’t be there in body,but I’m with you all the way in spirit.

    • Mag the Mick says:

      Hey Mike – just a note to say I love your posts! You sound like a great guy and you are a welcome addition to the muddy community.

  24. ks sunflower says:

    Didn’t Sullivan also buy two Zamboni machines for the ice rink at a time he was slashing money for more urgent city services as well?

    • slipstream says:

      Yeah, but you have to admit, it is fun to say “Zamboni.”

      • GoI3ig says:

        It appears someone has been driving them around Anchorage with the conditions of the streets. I’m still looking for a sand truck. I saw a couple of state trucks out, but no city sanders.

        The MOA can’t afford a little OT for something like road safety.

  25. GoI3ig says:

    The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. Go back in time to “project 80s” and figure out why we built the “Sullivan” arena in an area with no parking and little road access. Oh yea, Danny’s Daddy had some friends who owned that piece of property. No worries, the city will pony up and buy it.

    The parking for Mulcahy and Ben Boeke will suffice. The cars can just wait in line on that little 2-lane street that provides access to the 6000 seat arena. That fiasco took some real planning.