Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/25/1994 09:03 AM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS introduced  SB 203  (MUNICIPAL POLICE                  
 SERVICES) as the next order of business.                                      
 SCOTT BRANDT-ERICKSON, Anchorage, said there were some problems               
 with administering the police force in Anchorage with this bill.              
 If you were able to do the services as cheaply as it is done now,             
 the additional service would cost a half million dollars.  It is              
 not clear whether they could provide the investigative and control            
 services necessary to cover a wide range of crimes.  He said there            
 are 1.24 officers per 1,000 people now in the (indistinct) service            
 Number 133                                                                    
 DUANE UDLAND, Deputy Chief of the Anchorage Police Department, said           
 he has testified before on this issue and will answer questions.              
 SENATOR KELLY asked if they have a position on the proposed Rieger            
 language and the proposed new language based on the final report on           
 the Task Force on Government roles from the last legislature.                 
 MR. UDLAND said they support the Rieger proposal.                             
 SENATOR KELLY asked what the position would be of the Anchorage               
 Municipal Police Department Union on an effort to contract with               
 State Troopers to patrol the Hillside.                                        
 MR. UDLAND replied that he was told the Union would file legal                
 SENATOR RIEGER asked if the mayor's position was that the Municipal           
 Charter should be overridden.  MR. UDLAND said his Community                  
 Council thinks that Senator Kelly's proposal is very consistent               
 with the recommendations of the Task Force.                                   
 Number 229                                                                    
 BARBARA WEINIG, State Community Council, said she supported Senator           
 Rieger's bill.                                                                
 SENATOR KELLY asked for a copy of the survey that states what the             
 Hillside residents are willing to pay for.   The Committee reviewed           
 the survey.  SENATOR KELLY said while it seemed like most of the              
 people were willing to pay something to get the issue off their               
 back, they weren't willing to pay enough to cover what the State              
 Troopers and Anchorage Police say they need.                                  
 SENATOR RIEGER said he drew the exact opposite conclusion, that the           
 willingness to pay is adequate.                                               
 SENATOR KELLY said it looked like the upper levels of the Hillside            
 were only prepared for burglary patrol.  Everyone else in Anchorage           
 is willing to pay for the infrastructure that protects other areas            
 of town.  He didn't think it was fair for the rest of the borough             
 to be paying for the infrastructure - the drug units, laboratories,           
 etc. and have the Hillside get off with just burglary patrol.                 
 MS. WEINIG said she agreed with Senator Kelly.  She said that many            
 of them have businesses and pay taxes.  They also pay taxes when              
 they shop in town.                                                            
 SENATOR KELLY pointed out that everyone pays those taxes.  Everyone           
 who has a business and doesn't live on the Hillside is paying twice           
 for what the Hillside pays only once.                                         
 Number 298                                                                    
 PAUL LANCE, Hillside resident, supported the State Troopers for               
 protection of his neighborhood.  They are better equipped and                 
 positioned than the Anchorage Police Department.  He said there               
 have not been open meetings on this issue in the Hillside area                
 which should be done.  He thought facts and figures were also                 
 lacking in the hearing process  - like how many crimes are                    
 committed in that area.                                                       
 MR. LANCE said they pay probably more than their share, because               
 they represent a large assessed valuation in the Municipality of              
 The valuation is $325 per $100,000 for a home and people want to              
 know what they are paying $1,000 for.  He doesn't think this issue            
 has been well presented to the public.                                        
 Number 348                                                                    
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked how many households on the Hillside are                 
 affected by this.                                                             
 SENATOR PHILLIPS said the survey was mailed to 10,546 households in           
 Southeast Anchorage.                                                          
 SENATOR KELLY said the assessed evaluation of the areas outside the           
 police service areas as of January 1, 1994 is about $1.3 billion.             
 The rest of the Municipality is about $9.5 billion.                           
 He said the areawide mill rate that everyone else pays except the             
 Hillside is 3.34 mills which is $334 per $100,000 assessed                    
 valuation.  What is being asked here is that Hillside pays the same           
 valuation that everyone else pays.  When you decide to buy a more             
 expensive home, the assessment is one of the things you take into             
 consideration before purchase, he reasoned.  If the millage rate              
 goes down, it should go down for everyone in the Municipality, not            
 just the Hillside.  He said there are a lot of areas on the east              
 side of Anchorage that don't often have major problems metropolitan           
 police have to address, like drug problems, etc., but his people              
 have to pay the same 3.3 mills, too.  The Hillside is not the only            
 area that doesn't have all of the problems that need to be                    
 addressed by government and people acting in concert to protect               
 themselves from various kinds of criminal activity.                           
 Number 400                                                                    
 RICHARD WEINIG, member of the Hillside Task Force, felt that what             
 the people want still isn't clear.  He disagreed with the premise             
 that everyone on the Hillside is not paying for the infrastructure,           
 because he rents an office and into the cost of this office is                
 factored the property taxes the owner of the building pays.  That's           
 where everyone pays for infrastructure.  He noted that the rest of            
 Anchorage voted to become part of the Anchorage service area.  This           
 was a voluntary choice on their part.                                         
 He supported Senator Rieger's bill as being the proper vehicle for            
 meeting people needs as opposed to municipal greed.  The survey               
 indicates that 83% of the residents rejected the Anchorage Police             
 Number 477                                                                    
 CONNIE LIVSEY, Bear Valley Community Council representative to the            
 Police Protection Task Force, supported Senator Rieger's bill,                
 because it is consistent with the views expressed in the Community            
 Council meetings on this issue.  She said the Troopers have greater           
 professionalism and greater familiarity with their community and              
 its rural residential flavor.  She said her area desires to have              
 control over their level of service.  They do want to be able to              
 call a trooper when they need one and want a reasonable response              
 MS. LIVSEY explained that while the Council had not actually seen             
 Senator Rieger's bill, they had discussed the issues many times and           
 it is consistent with their wishes.                                           
 Number 504                                                                    
 PAT ABNEY, an Anchorage Assembly Member from South Anchorage,                 
 supported Senator Rieger's bill, because it addresses concerns we             
 have throughout the state and the municipality.  She thought the              
 issue is local control in reference to the City Charter which                 
 grants that right. She said Hillside residents have consistently              
 expressed a preference to have, and pay for, state police.  The               
 rest of the bill allows other municipalities to tax themselves for            
 troopers if that's what they want.                                            
 Number 528                                                                    
 BILL LAMOREAUX, Southeast Anchorage Homeowner and Landowners                  
 Association (HALO), supported the findings in the Police Protection           
 Survey.  Senator Rieger's bill is consistent with these findings.             
 SENATOR KELLY stated there were 4 approaches on the table and it's            
 clear that Senator Rieger's proposal is not acceptable to the                 
 municipality, the Anchorage Police Department Union, or to the                
 Department of Public Safety.  Had he known it existed, he would               
 have begun with the recommendations in the Task Force on Government           
 Roles Report which are essentially to allow the local assembly to             
 work this out regardless of local charter.                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated the Committee would get position                
 papers and fiscal notes on all the approaches.  He said they would            
 get the statistic on criminal activities on Hillside.  They would             
 then take up SB 203 again on Thursday.                                        

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