Our summer is ending with fireweed signaling to us that fall is in the air. I want to thank all our volunteers for their hard work at the Bear Paw festival and the parades this summer. Without our volunteers, our effort to govern our own communities would die. Thanks to the community members who supported us at the Eagle River Bear Paw Festival and parades. Thank you for keeping the dream of forming an independent borough alive!

On returning to Alaska this month, I am so very proud of the hard-working volunteers that are nearing the completion of the Petition and Charter. Our lawyer is working very closely with us on completing the legal brief required in the petition. We want to have a solid document to turn into the Local Boundary Commission (LBC) for review. With these in hand, we will be taking the petition and charter to the public.

Presenting the petition and the charter to the public will be a monumental step towards giving the citizens of Anchorage Assembly District 2(AD2) a clear choice. If you want to stay with Anchorage, don’t sign the petition. You can sign the petition, which will let the Alaska Constitution process work. With enough signatures and approval from the LBC, all voting citizens in AD2 will be allowed to vote in the LBC-governed election, to either stay with Anchorage or detach and incorporate our own government over our communities.

I have been asked on several occasions, “Why should I sign the petition to detach and incorporate our own governance in AD2?” People are generally happy with life in Eagle River, Chugiak, Birchwood, Peter Creek, Hiland, Thunderbird Falls and Eklutna. We enjoy our large homes and lots. Our roads are well cared for. Public Safety is not a problem in our communities. Most of our families have been happy with the education their children in our neighborhood schools. So why sign?

As anticipated by our founders, when communities grow and are ready to become independent, it is right that they do so.

The complaints against the Municipality of Anchorage are never ceasing. I have listened to them, witnessed a few, and had my own complaints about their treatment of our communities. That does nothing to motivate me. What motivates me and our hard-working volunteers is giving our citizens the opportunity to vote on whether to let Anchorage rule our communities or give our communities their own governance – a government that truly represents us, a government made of representatives from our local communities making local choices about our roads, parks, businesses and public safety.

Most importantly, I want our communities to control our own education system. Those are reasons I would sign the petition.

This process of writing a petition, including a charter and legal brief, turning the petition into the LBC for review and getting their approval of content will allow us to take a completed document to the public. Then we will start collecting signatures required by the LBC. When signatures are completed, we will turn in the petition to the LBC for analysis and judgment. If they approve the petition, the question will be taken ONLY to the citizens of AD2, with a vote in an election governed by the LBC. 

We are currently incurring legal expenses which have surpassed our current donation savings. We need funding to pay for the current legal reviews and petition brief. I want to thank everyone who has contributed and contributed regularly. We are planning fundraisers in the next months.

Personally, I am upping my monthly contribution the next couple of months to insure we get a document out to the public. Please consider donating. PFDs are out and I couldn’t think of a more important and honorable cause to support. Thanks to all of you for your support to keep the dream alive!

To support this effort, we are having a 2022 Wine Tasting event with a silent auction and a wine pull! Come celebrate with us on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Eagle River Lions Club. For those who do not drink we will have soft drinks and fruit punch slushies to enjoy. Click here to go to our website where you can pay for tickets.

Please consider supporting the creation of the next new borough in Alaska. As anticipated by our founders, when communities grow and are ready to become independent, it is right that they do so. It takes all of us! Local voices making local choices!
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Thank you for joining us in this effort!

The views expressed here are those of the author.

UPDATE: Eagle River push to break from Anchorage continues on

Sean Murphy
Long-time Eagle River resident Sean Murphy is a retired educator and administrator with the Anchorage School District. He currently serves as the chair of EaglExit.