Zaletel: Municipal Administration Refuses to Enact Basic COVID Mitigation Measures

Ahead of this evening’s Anchorage assembly meeting, Midtown Anchorage Assembly Member Meg Zaletel issued a press release writing that in September, the Assembly leadership took steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the assembly chambers but now, due to a “continued lack of collaborative communication regarding the facts surrounding the spread of COVID-19,” these limitations will no longer be enforced, putting assembly members, municipal employees, and the public at risk.

Zaletel’s press release said that Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance notified members just a few hours before tonight’s meeting that the Bronson administration “explicitly indicated” that the Bronson administration is not willing to work with the assembly to space out seating.

In response to the Bronson administration’s refusal to enact basic COVID-19 mitigation strategies within the assembly chambers, Zaletel said:

“Tonight myself and Assembly Member Petersen are introducing AO 2021-313 to ensure that Mayor Bronson’s administration enacts appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures as soon as possible,” said Assembly Member Meg Zaletel. “This resolution follows both the Centers for Disease Control and the Anchorage Health Department’s recommendations for masking within indoor spaces, physical distancing, and limiting gathering sizes. The Administration’s deliberate obstruction of the Assembly Leadership’s COVID-19 mitigation plan is reckless, and places Anchorage residents in danger.”

Zaletel went on to state: “Due to the Bronson aadministration’s unwillingness to follow even the simplest mitigation measures – allowing room for members and staff to physically distance or wear masks – I will be participating via telephone for tonight’s (September 14, 2021) meeting and have decided to hold the September 15th Committee on Housing and Homelessness via Microsoft Teams, with full recognition that neither are ideal ways to effectively participate in city governance and policymaking.

You can read the full press release below.