September 9, 2014

As Mayor, Mark Begich Tried To Run Anchorage Into The Ground

During Mark Begich’s tenure as mayor, he increased spending, proposed higher fees and fines, and even proposed cuts to city services. Begich’s time in Anchorage is becoming an issue in the Alaska Senate race. Here are the top 3 worst Begich mayoral moments:

3. Just before leaving office and without consulting the Anchorage Assembly, Begich agreed to generous labor contracts that the city couldn’t afford. In 2008, the Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously to audit those labor contracts that Begich made without their approval. The contracts furthered the financial mess Begich created as mayor while he jetted east to Washington, DC. In 2009, an independent review found Begich provided inaccurate information and never confirmed Anchorage had the funding for these new contracts.

2. While the economy crashed in 2008, Begich painted a rosy picture of Anchorages’ economic status. “Nothing to see here!” Meanwhile, his top finance executive “was worried,” according to the Anchorage Daily News, as some city departments were over spending their calendar-year budgets. The estimated budget shortfall was never disclosed to Assembly members and Begich downplayed keeping the city in the dark.

1. Begich increased city spending by more than $130 million during his term as mayor—that’s an increase of nearly 50%.