Dunleavy’s town hall meetings suspended so he can monitor coronavirus

Governor Mike Dunleavy talks to reporters at a press conference about the novel coronavirus on Monday, March 9, 2020, while Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink stands in the background. (Joey Mendolia/Alaska Public Media)

Governor Mike Dunleavy has suspended three public town hall meetings he was planning to hold this week.

According to the governor’s office, the reason is to allow Dunleavy to “remain closely connected to federal and local partners” while the coronavirus situation continues to evolve.

The governor said in December that he planned to visit communities to talk with Alaskans about the future of the state’s budget. He held one meeting, in Chugiak, last week. His office cancelled meetings in Petersburg and Wrangell in February, citing poor weather.

The newly cancelled events were scheduled for Kenai on March 9, Seward on March 10 and Homer on March 11.

Dunleavy says his administration will communicate with local governments, school districts, businesses, tribes and nonprofits by telephone and Facebook town halls, until he can resume travel to communities.