Anchorage Assembly member Constant says he’s pushing to make it easier to get records from the city

Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant addresses members of the media at the Loussac Library on June 7, 2022. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant says he wants to make it easier for people to receive public records from the city.

Constant says he has received several threatening messages from the public since introducing an ordinance that would establish a process for the Assembly to remove a mayor.

He says he filed a police report about the messages and saw the outcome of the report in conservative blog Must Read Alaska before it was sent to him.

“The municipal manager requested from the chief of police records about the police report that I filed,” Constant said. “And somehow that blog managed to receive those records before I ever had an chance to know what the determination of APD was.”

In copies of messages sent to Constant obtained by Alaska Public Media, several people directed homophobic language towards Constant, with one person saying they “would love to kick your teeth down your throat, you coward oath breaker.” In a copy of the police report also obtained by Alaska Public Media, Constant described a phone call with statements that municipal prosecutors said “didn’t rise to an arrestable level, but were close.”

Constant says he’s concerned that some records requests are being expedited over others. He noted that he sent a records request to the mayor’s office in April about a contract between the city and WEKA Consulting, the operator of a former Anchorage monoclonal antibody clinic, and has not received those records.

Constant says the goal of legislation he’s putting together is to streamline the process, making it quicker and cheaper to receive public records. 

“I think anybody who’s in the business of seeking records from the municipality recognizes that the administrations, not just this one, make it pretty difficult to get information if they don’t want you to have it,” Constant said. “So we’re going to set up stricter timelines and reductions in fees.”

Constant says his legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks. 

In a statement, Corey Allen Young, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bronson, said Municipal manager Amy Demboski did not have a copy of the police report.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org

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