Eagle River secession movement seeks funding from Municipality of Anchorage
EagleExit, the group seeking to separate Eagle River, Chugiak and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson from the Municipality of Anchorage, is asking the city for money to support its campaign.
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson does not support or oppose EaglExit, his chief of staff said, but he is request the Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board if it wants to spend money from local parks and roads instead to the secession movement.
A board meeting is scheduled for September 25 at noon in downtown Eagle River.
“They collect the royalties from the mills, they collect the taxes, it goes back to the service areas. The question is, how do you spend it? Do you want to invest some of the money you normally get in this effort? Said Bronson chief of staff Craig Campbell.
The recommendation of the Board of Directors may be included in the administration’s draft budget for 2022. Any proposal is subject to the approval of the Anchor Assembly.
Michael Tavoliero, chairman of EagleExit, declined to comment on the request, as did Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard, who represents the area. Assembly member Crystal Kennedy did not respond to calls for comment.
Draft Eagle Exit Plan calls for spending $ 513,977 on legal support, advertising and analysis. The group plans to submit a petition to the state’s Local Boundaries Commission asking that the Anchorage 2 Assembly District be separated from the municipality as its own local government.
Last week, Campbell wrote to the co-chairs of the seven-member Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board, stating in part: “As Eagle Exit is asking for government financial assistance … Mayor Bronson considers it s. This is an appropriate expense for the taxpayers of the Assembly District. 2 to do, if it is the residents’ willingness to fund part of the EaglExit effort.
The letter asked the board if they would consider “allocating up to $ 174,000 from your 2022 budget to fund this process.”
Campbell said the figure was simply EagleExit’s request, divided by three.
That money could come from accounts that fund local roads, parks and other projects, or residents could vote to raise their own taxes to pay, Campbell said.
“(The mayor) made a commitment during the campaign that if Eagle River and Chugiak said they wanted to break away, he wasn’t going to fight it. But they have to make that decision, ”he said.
Debbie Ossiander, co-chair of the advisory board, said she wasn’t sure how the request would be received, but if residents were asked to raise taxes to pay it, she said it would be “a pretty steep hill.”