Anchorage Assembly directs city to create online checkbook to increase transparency

Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant at the Loussac Library on June 7, 2022. Constant introduced an ordinance to create a city online checkbook for public access of financial information. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly voted Tuesday night to make city financial transactions and contracts available online. 

The move comes amid concerns from Assembly members about the amount of time it’s taken them to get financial information through records requests to Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration.

Assembly vice chair Chris Constant said the financial information should be public and easily accessible. He introduced the ordinance, passed unanimously Tuesday, that directs the city to create an online checkbook, similar to a tool used by the state. 

“Records that are public like this should be made public by default and not by request,” Constant said. “Because we’ve seen, of late, that certain documents that should take 15 to 20 minutes to find in the municipal records are taking weeks and months.”

Assembly members have also raised concerns about how the Bronson administration has carried out contracts. In January, a bombshell letter from ousted Municipal Manager Amy Demboski described allegations that Bronson had improperly granted contracts without Assembly approval. 

Bronson expressed support for the creation of an online checkbook during Tuesday’s meeting.

“The execution of it might be a little complex in the very near term,” Bronson said. “I think it’s an IT issue right now. But again, we obviously support this.”

The ordinance directs the city to establish the online checkbook before Jan. 1 of next year. Creating the checkbook is anticipated to cost the city less than $30,000. 

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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