Voters will decide if Anchorage power utility ML&P should be sold to Chugach Electric
In December 2015, the Anchorage Assembly approved a resolution implementing a Vote by Mail election process beginning with the 2018 regular election. The goal of the Vote by Mail system is to centralize and streamline the election process, increase voter turnout and maximize voter protection. This year’s municipal election will be the first time traditional polling places will not be available. Instead, ballot packages will be mailed to qualified voters in advance of the election and voters can return their ballots by mail or deposit ballots at a Secure Ballot Drop Box or Accessible Vote Center.
On Tuesday, April 3, voters will elect a mayor and three school board members and vote on seven bond propositions, an initiative, and two Charter and two Municipal Code amendments.
Shareholders may have heard CIRI’s name associated with one of the matters on the ballot, Proposition 10 – Charter Amendment and Sale of ML&P to Chugach Electric. If approved, Proposition 10 will amend Anchorage’s municipal charter and authorize the city to sell the assets and business of Municipal Light and Power (ML&P) to Chugach Electric Association, Inc.
Late last year, the Municipality of Anchorage reached out to CIRI soliciting an offer to purchase publicly owned ML&P. CIRI is a strategic investor and its portfolio includes investments across the nation in traditional and renewable energy and infrastructure projects. CIRI marshalled its extensive knowledge of the Southcentral Alaska energy market and financial expertise, and delivered an offer to the city in November. The following month, officials announced a deal to sell the city-owned power company to Chugach Electric Association, a member-owned cooperative. While CIRI was disappointed by the quick decision, it also raised concerns about the process and how seriously the municipality considered CIRI’s offer as well as offers from the four other companies that submitted bids.
CIRI has not taken a position on Proposition 10 and, ultimately, Anchorage voters will decide whether to approve the purchase. However, CIRI strongly encourages voters to become familiar with the proposition and the other matters in advance of the April 3 election.
To learn more about Proposition 10 and other issues on the ballot, the League of Women Voters prepared a nonpartisan ballot review. It is available at www.muni.org.