Anchorage Election: A breakdown of some of the lesser-known Ballot Propositions

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Along with voting on five open seats for Anchorage Assembly, and two spots on the Anchorage School Board, city voters are also deciding on several ballot proposals, but a few of them can be confusing.

Alongside some more well-known proposals like Prop 9, which is the retail sales tax on alcohol, and Prop 1, aimed at improving school facilities, there are propsals, like Prop 8.

Margaret McDonagh, President of the Anchorage League of Women Voters, explains that Prop 8 is a follow-up to the city's sale of ML&P to Chugach Electric.

"ML&P already has some already established substations that are located on pre-existing parkland, and the Municipal Charter says that in order for Chugach to take over those substations, there has to be a separate vote that allows them to take over the lease of that land that is the easement that the substation is on because it's in a park," said McDonagh.

Another one, Prop 11, has to do with the city's lease-purchase agreements. Voting "yes" on Prop 11 would essentially allow the city to make lease-to-own transactions, so the city ends up with an asset, instead of turning property back over to the owner when the lease is finished. It also calls for voter approval to make a purchase for any sale under $1 million dollars, which under the current language, is not required.

"So we're going to get rid of that million-dollar freebie if you will," said Eric Croft, Chair of the Anchorage Assembly. "The danger there is we could go out and get a whole bunch of $900,000 debt, and really get around that provision, so we don't want that. If we are incurring debt, we want you to vote on it through bonds. But the lease-purchase thing is too restrictive, we don't understand why we can't do that, so let's reform this to kind of meet modern practice."

Other propositions include Prop 7, which would bring improvements and expansion to the police department's crime lab and evidence area, and Prop 4, which would put money toward construction, renovation, and upgrades of city roads and drainage systems. A full list of ballot propositions can be found on the city's website.

Ballots can be handed in or postmarked by April 2.

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