Updated: 2 hours ago Published: 2 hours ago
The 2022 budget proposal by Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration would reduce the city’s spending by $ 7.5 million, cutting 53 total city positions.
Bronson announced the proposed budget during a press conference on Friday. He said few cuts had been made to core services such as police, fire, health and plowing, and that his government was prioritizing efficiency and slowing the growth of government spending.
“This budget reflects months of work in all departments evaluating our programs and exploring all ways to maximize the savings,” said Bronson. “So I sincerely believe that we are well on our way to a more effective and efficient MOA while maintaining the services that Anchorage expects.”
The proposed budget is around $ 550 million, about 1.3% less than the revised budget for 2021 of $ 557.5 million.
Karol (Karl) Raszkiewicz, the city’s director of administration and budget, said each department has looked at the potential for a 5% reduction, but the final cuts are not the same across the board.
Of the 53 deleted positions, 34 are currently vacant and 19 are filled, he said. Those who lose their jobs could apply to the city for vacancies, of which about 50 full-time positions are vacant, he said.
The biggest cut, about 14%, came straight from the mayor’s office, he said.
The budget proposal also shows a reorganization of the executive branch. Some departments have been moved or closed and new ones created. For example, the library would become a division of Parks and Recreation.
Also at the press conference, city manager Amy Demboski said the city is asking the Anchorage School District to reimburse 75% of the cost of the School Resource Officer program, which is part of a partnership with the Anchorage Police Department.
“Historically, it started out as a 50-50 split between the parish and the school district, and a few years later the parish paid the full cost of it,” said Demboski.