By Elstun W. Lauesen
Why is Dan Sullivan not telling the Truth about his budget, the cost of government and the financial condition of our City? I will deal with that question after I cast light on the Mayor playing fast and loose with the facts.
Contrary to Sullivan’s assertion, the budget that was approved by the Assembly last year did match current revenues, to do otherwise would be illegal and Mr. Sullivan knows it. The comments he made in today’s (12/8/09) Anchorage Daily News are tantamount to a criminal accusation, and he should apologize! When revenues posted a decline in January, adjustments were made to the budget by Acting Mayor Claman that included millions in ‘give backs’ by the unions. What had been a $17 M shortfall was reduced significantly to a $9 M deficit by the time Dan Sullivan took office in July. Thank you, Acting Mayor Claman. In September the Mayor announced that $5 Million of the remaining deficit disappeared because of the improved performance of the Stock Market, which has risen 3,500 points since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Thank you, Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress. By the 3rd Q of this fiscal year the financial condition of the City has improved significantly. How much? We won’t know until the Sullivan Administration books them and then without a doubt, Dan Sullivan will become a paper “hero” to his uninformed supporters. These revenues will not appear until AFTER this ‘smoke and mirrors’ budget passes, which it certainly will. Folks, the only ‘deficit’ is the one caused by Dan Sullivan through his refusal to fully fund the budget. Sullivan’s budget is over $10 M UNDER the tax cap. Dan can’t blame THAT on the Assembly.
So why is Dan Sullivan is not telling the truth about his budget and the financial condition of the City? Because he wants to do three things: he wants to attack employee bargaining units, he wants to reward his wealthiest supporters with tax cuts and he wants to strip our government of its ability to rationally regulate and manage growth and development, which offends Mr. Sullivan’s philosophy of laissez faire capitalism. Sullivan wants a KABATA-friendly AMATS, compliant community councils and a ‘hear no evil’ planning and zoning body.
What kind of vision is contained in the Dan Sullivan budget? A vision based on fear and regressive policy. That is not the vision I want guiding Anchorage into the second decade of the 21st Century.