Anchorage Mayor Bronson announces Judy Norton Eledge as the new election for library director
After the Anchorage Congregation rejected Mayor Dave Bronson’s election as municipal librarian earlier this week, the Mayor announced a new election for the position: Judy Norton Eledge, a longtime educator and president of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club.
Eledge is active in conservative politics and sparked controversy over social media posts in the Anchorage elections in April.
Bronson’s appointment of Eledge is a decision that is likely to recapture the attention of members of the congregation. Like Sami Graham, Bronson’s previous choice, Eledge doesn’t have a master’s degree in library science or seven years of professional library experience, two minimum requirements for the position, according to the city’s job posting.
The Bronson administration had argued that Graham’s different experience as a principal and teacher in Anchorage qualified her for the position and cited similar reasons for appointing Eledge in a statement sent Friday.
Bronson said in the statement that literacy and reading should be a top priority for the city library and said that he has pledged to appoint a director with “the background and experience to renew our children’s attention to reading and” to refocus “.
“Like Sami Graham, Judy Norton Eledge is immensely qualified for the role of library director. She brings decades of leadership and educational experience to the community at the state and local levels, including serving as a teacher, school administrator, and literacy and reading champion, ”Bronson said in the statement. “While some members of the congregation will oppose Judy’s nomination, our administration will continue to work to lead the library that we believe will best facilitate and promote literacy and lifelong learning.”
Vice Chairman of the Congregation Chris Constant, who voted to confirm Graham, said the lack of experience and qualifications had led the congregation to reject Graham as a candidate. Constant said he also had concerns about Eledge’s qualifications and said the congregation would likely oppose Eledge for reasons similar to Graham, he said.
“It looks like the mayor has doubled down on a decision that the gathering has already rejected. It is clear that he just wants to do politics. He doesn’t care about the best interests of the library or the Anchorage people. It’s a sad day for Anchorage, ”said Constant.
Eledge and Graham both ran for positions on the Anchorage School Board during the April election and lost by briefly running together as part of a list of Conservative candidates.
Shortly after the congregation rejected Graham, Bronson announced that she would serve as his chief of staff.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.