Anchorage mayor-elect announces community-driven transition process

Berkowitz stands before a portion of his transition team while announcing his plan during a press conference. Hillman/KSKA
Berkowitz stands before a portion of his transition team while announcing his plan during a press conference. Hillman/KSKA

Anchorage Mayor-Elect Ethan Berkowitz is developing a plan to transition into his new role. He says it will be created by a group of community leaders in his transition team and use input from public discussions and town hall-style meetings.

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“I’ve helped assemble this tremendous group of Anchorage residents with the idea that if we put together the right ideas at the right time we can have a profound impact on what happens with our city moving ahead,” he told a group of reporters during a press conference.

“And I want to make sure the ideas we have are inclusive, I want them to be innovative, and I want them to be good investments for our city.”

Berkowitz says the plan will include a timeline with short- and long-term goals. Within his transition team are five subgroups that focus on the economy and jobs, homelessness, public safety, administration, and Live. Work. Play. Berkowitz chose three leaders for his transition team: former Republican state legislator Andrew Halcro, Joelle Hall with Alaska AFL-CIO and CIRI vice president of land and energy development Ethan Schutt. They will host four different town hall-style meetings in different areas of Anchorage over the next six weeks.

“Being mayor can be a solitary job, but this is a community. And in order for us to move the community forward the mayor’s goals need to represent and reflect the community’s goals and the community’s values,” Berkowitz said.

“It’s going to be critically important for the city of Anchorage to have a transition document that reflects the goals of the city at large.”

Governor Bill Walker went through a similar process, but Berkowitz’s spokesperson said the mayor-elect did not model his transition after the governor’s.

The transition team will monitor the progress of Berkowitz’s administration after he take office to ensure that they are meeting the plan’s goals, he said. He did not announce any members of his administration. He takes office July 1.