Editor’s note: At the Aug. 24 Palmer City Council meeting, the writer of this letter, Mike Coons, raised concerns that Council Members Sebrena Combs, Julie Berberich, Brian Daniels and Jill Valerius may have violated the Alaska Open Meetings Act by discussing policy issues in a closed Facebook group called Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice (Read more here). The city has hired an investigator to look into these allegations.

This is an open letter to Palmer Deputy Mayor Sebrena Combs and Council members Julie Berberich, Brian Daniels and Jill Valerius as well as candidate for city council Lee Henrikson and those members of Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice:

This letter is in response to the closing comments at the Sept. 14 Palmer City Council meeting by Deputy Mayor Combs.

In a nutshell, her comments indicated that she was concerned that those of us who are fighting against her actions, and those of the other council members listed above, have failed to talk to her about her beliefs or who she is. Let me be very clear to all four persons in question.
This is not, repeat not, personal. Our opposition is against specific actions and how they impact our personal liberties and freedoms.

Deputy Mayor Combs, with the support of the other three council members and Moms for Social Justice, pushed for mandating masks in the City of Palmer earlier this year. They tried and failed to do so under an emergency order with Mayor Edna DeVries blocking this attempt. This would have, among other things, imposed a requirement that businesses enforce the mandate and call the police to report violations. Failure to do so would result in unspecified actions against those business owners.

Additionally, Combs and the other three council members mentioned above, with support of Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice, went after the Palmer police chief for a Facebook post that he wrote before he was the chief and that was clearly his personal opinion, not that of a police officer. He was cleared of those accusations, and the council chambers were filled with people standing in line to support him.

My actions will be based solely on the proposed policies and what outcomes, good or bad, I believe they may bring.

Combs, with the support of the other three council members and Mat-Su Moms for Social 
Justice, then tried and failed to put forward an oversight committee of seven people to review police actions and dictate the training of officers. That failed because, like with other similar actions, freedom loving people showed up and Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice claimed they felt “intimidated” and “fearful for their safety.” In point of fact the Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice members withdrew their police oversight presentation one hour before the council meeting began due to “safety concerns.” It was one of the biggest displays of cowardliness I have seen in quite a while.

Not once in that meeting or any other was there ever any violence, unlawful push back or 
indication of potential violence against anyone. Bottom line, they knew they were wrong and that their plan would not pass!

In point of fact Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice supported and encouraged a Black Lives Matters protest on the heels of BLM and ANTIFA violence in the Lower 48. Fortunately, the Palmer protest was by-and-large a “peaceful” event that only called for violence with chants of “No Justice, No Peace.”

Those are three times that we the people of Palmer and the greater Palmer area, opposed plans supported by Combs and the other three council members.  Those attempted policies would have violated our freedoms and promoted a more socialist and dictatorial government.  As I said in my previous testimony, the attacks on the police and the police chief were designed to further those socialist policies and outcomes.

In closing.  After the vote to kill the mask mandate, I thanked Deputy Mayor Combs for following the direction of the majority of those who testified (68% no) and voting against her own plan. I did so with sincerity.

In the future, I will continue to use the forum of public testimony to support or oppose ordinances proposed by the city council. My actions will be based solely on the proposed policies and what outcomes, good or bad, I believe they may bring.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Open letter to 4 Palmer City Council members: My opposition is not personal, but based on policy

Mike Coons
Mike Coons is a resident of the greater Palmer area and he currently serves as president of Concerned Conservatives of Alaska.


  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Yes there trying to take away are freedoms. This woke so called group of people.
    We need to-stand together on all fronts

    • Evan S Singh says:

      Geezus – “so called group of people”? That pretty darn dumb.

      • Lobo says:

        “That group of people” aren’t really “dumb”.. They know exactly what they are trying to do, and it’s straight from the Communist play books. They need to be deported “back” to commiefornia where they were hatched.

      • Michael C Coons says:

        Lobo, you are right. We have a tendency of thinking they are sheep. These people like Sabrena, Jill, Julie and even Brian (I call him Boy Toy) are wolfs in sheep clothing.

      • Lobo says:

        Exactly, Michael.

      • Evan S Singh says:

        I wasn’t clear. I was making an observation on Proud Alaskan’s poor language choice of using “so called” to describe people. If they aren’t people, what are they?

      • Lobo says:

        Okay, I see what you are saying, and at the same time, I guess that I could say that I used the same analytical technique with your previous post… When I look at Proud Alaskan’s post, I can see where there is an opportunity to pick certain words to highlight the total intent . Which, can probably be thought of as the various processes used by humans to form stringent deductions. I won’t criticize in either case, understanding that, as humans, we are not perfect communicators.. I certainly have sufficient faults of my own.

      • Michael Alan says:

        Evan, those living glas houses shouldn’t throw stones.

        Your vernacular hasnt been impeccable either.

        Do you desire to have meaningful engagement with those whom you disagree, and exchange thoughts and ideas,, or just troll?

  • DoneWithIt says:

    This tyranny by the woke masses won’t stop unless we rise up in righteous indignation.
    Their end game is enslavement and de-population.

  • Steve Peterson says:

    Why is it that it is so easy to spot a liberal? Especially soyboy there, so archetypal of the woke set. These people need to take their ideology back to Kalifornya where it fits right in

  • Dean says:

    Teach your children well before these scumbags get to them in School. We may toe the line against the communists (yes communists) because of our age, numbers and knowledge. But the young are being indoctrinated as we speak. Their bosses are Globalists. The foot soldiers are Communists. The outcomes is the same: global socialism.

  • J... says:

    Well written Mike. Thank you.

  • Sue says:

    Everyone get out and vote them OUT!! Voting ends on Oct. 5, so vote Conservative: Carrington and Melin!

  • Andy says:

    Great letter Mr Coons. For many years I was on the fence politically until the first part of last 4 years went by and immediately seen what the democratic party was made of, no way in hell would I ever associate my name with that diseased party, yes, vote conservative!

  • Michael C Coons says:

    Bottom line. If you know people that live in Palmer, make sure they get out and vote! We can win this! Then a recall is being done as well and hopefully this coming Tuesday the result of the investigation will add more fuel to the fire to have those other 3 to be recalled for violating the Open Meetings Law!

  • Linda says:

    Well said Mike…Thank you for being fair in your analysis!! Sometimes Liberals need to be reminded!!

  • MB says:

    Hreat reporting, thank you!

  • NAV says:

    Get involved at the polls and be a poll watcher because they have the polls rigged because honest people aren’t involved by watching then vote these socialist heaps of crap out!!!

  • Buzz Kelley says:

    Nice work Mr Coons. I’m joining AMAC!

  • Sharry Grasmick says:

    I am struggling to understand how participation in a closed online group by a few members meetings these guidelines.
    Perhaps I just don’t understand the plain language of the statute.

    AS 24.60.037. Open Meetings Guidelines.
    (a) A meeting of a legislative body is open to the public in accordance with the open meetings guidelines established in this section. A legislator may not participate in a meeting held in violation of these open meetings guidelines.
    (b) For purposes of the legislative open meetings guidelines, a meeting occurs when a majority of the members of a legislative body is present and action, including voting, is taken or could be taken, or if a primary purpose of the meeting is the discussion of legislation or state policy. The Uniform Rules of the Alaska State Legislature control the procedure for conducting open and executive sessions of a legislative body.
    (c) Legislators may meet in a closed caucus or in a private, informal meeting to discuss and deliberate on political strategy. Those meetings are exempt from the legislative open meetings guidelines. For purposes of this subsection, “political strategy” includes organization of the houses, assignment of committee membership, scheduling of bills, vehicles for adoptions, house-senate relations, other procedural matters, caucus operations, meetings between majority and minority caucus leaders, meetings between majority and minority caucus leaders of both houses, meetings with the governor, deliberations with regard to political strategy, and discussions of issues in the context of political strategy.

    • Sharry Grasmick says:

      were a majority of the members present? was action taken?

      • Larry Wood says:

        My understanding is that 4 of them were, and there are only six on the council. A clear violation of the open meetings act. They were discussing city business.

  • Larry Wood says:

    Good job, Mike. Mat-Su Mothers for Social Justice is one of many such organizations that is a BLM front . BLM is a communist front. Combs, Valerius, Berberich, and Daniels are all members of MMFSJ. They are all Marxists.
    Daniels is a disgrace with the idiotic headgear the moron wears to meetings, it is an insult to the seriousness of the office he holds. They are not there for the benefit of Palmer, or those who live in the area. They are there to further the goals of the Marxist Left. They should not be in the office.
    They are a joke and make a mockery of the system. However, 4 out of six, Marxists. Gotta give the commies credit.
    This is the reason why we need ONE election, state, federal and local to get the vote numbers out to prevent this kind of insanity.