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By Dan Sullivan:
On April 3, Anchorage voters will be asked to approve Ballot Proposition 10, which authorizes the city to sell the Municipal Light and Power electric utility to Chugach Electric Association. These two utilities provide the majority of electric service to Anchorage residents, with Matanuska Electric Association serving the Chugiak Eagle River area.
While this sale may ultimately be a good deal for the municipality and the consumer, I have real concerns about the process involved with this proposal. In 1975, the city of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough merged into the Municipality of Anchorage. Subsequently, the municipal dharter was written and enacted as the guiding document for the governance of the new entity. Section 16.02 of the charter defines how the sale of any municipal utility should be conducted.
“The municipality may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of a municipal utility only pursuant to an ordinance or initiative proposition approved by three-fifths of the qualified voters voting on the question. If the disposal of the utility is by ordinance, the municipality may dispose of a municipal utility only to the highest responsive bid received by the municipality from a responsible bidder to a competitive procurement. The assembly shall provide for such competitive bidding by ordinance, and shall provide a description of the factors that will be considered in evaluation of the bids, including the relative weight of price and other evaluation factors.”