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New Senate organization announced - 11/7/2012 12:48 pm

Homer Revealed - 8/22/2012 2:08 pm

Seven-day countdown - 5/25/2012 8:37 pm

Anchorage city clerk resigns (UPDATED) - 5/23/2012 10:51 am

Gara to seek re-election - 5/2/2012 2:04 pm

For one lawmaker: Good news - 4/27/2012 12:20 pm

Anticipation in the Capitol - 4/26/2012 11:38 am

Election Commission finds 1/2 of precincts ran out of ballots; recommends no investigation - 4/25/2012 5:08 pm

Anchorage city clerk resigns (UPDATED)

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

1:45 p.m. UPDATE:

In Barbara Gruenstein's resignation letter to the Assembly, the longtime City Clerk says the April 3 election woes appear to have undermined the chairman's faith in her effectiveness.

Gruenstein would not say today whether Assembly leader Ernie Hall asked her to step down.

"I'm not going to go into any of that stuff," she told the Daily News in a brief interview at her City Hall office. "The letter is what it is."

"I serve at the pleasure," Gruenstein said, meaning she is an Assembly appointee. She offered to leave, she said, and Hall accepted.

City leaders have been under fire ever since the chaotic city election, during which more than half of precincts suffered ballot shortages.

Hall said today that he did not ask the clerk to quit. But when Gruenstein gave him her resignation letter, he did not ask her to stay on the job beyond a short one-month transition period, he said.

"If someone comes to you with that type of a letter, you know, I think you have some respect that you have to owe to them in that they're telling you they're ready for a change," he said.

It's been a difficult time for everyone at City Hall lately, he said.

I'll have more from Hall shortly. For example: Why did he fire the deputy clerk but leave Gruenstein on the job if the election is ultimately her responsibility? Co-chair Jennifer Johnston said the Assembly shares some of the blame for the election woes along with the clerk's office.

Hall said Gruenstein "has been an incredible asset to this city for a long time."

Gruenstein took the job in 2003. A former telecom executive, she'd recently finished helping Democrat Fran Ulmer run for governor when she was recruited to the city post by Assembly members Allan Tesche and Dick Traini, she said.

"It's been a good ride," Gruenstein said in her sunny second-floor office. She excused herself for a lunchtime walk with her daughter.

ORIGINAL POST:

Municipal clerk Barbara Gruenstein observes election workers as they count unscanned ballots from the Apr. 3 municipal election at City Hall on Apr. 12. Gruenstein has resigned from her post and will leave the job at the end of June, according to Assembly Chair Ernie Hall. (BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News)Municipal clerk Barbara Gruenstein observes election workers as they count unscanned ballots from the Apr. 3 municipal election at City Hall on Apr. 12. Gruenstein has resigned from her post and will leave the job at the end of June, according to Assembly Chair Ernie Hall. (BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News)

Anchorage City Clerk Barbara Gruenstein, who oversaw the troubled April 3 election, has resigned.

Assembly chairman Ernie Hall made the announcement to reporters this morning. Gruenstein will leave the job at the end of June, Hall said.

More than half of Anchorage precincts temporarily ran out of ballots on Election Day. Hall fired deputy city clerk Jacqueline Duke, a key election planner, on May 9.

The city clerk works for the Assembly. Gruenstein is paid about $117,000 a year, according to the muni employee relations department.

Here is the full text of Hall's announcement:

On May 22, 2012, Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Gruenstein submitted her resignation to the Chair of the Assembly to be effective immediately. However, upon request, Ms. Gruenstein has agreed to stay with the Clerk's Office through the end of June to make a smooth transition.

The entire Anchorage Assembly is truly grateful for Barbara's many years of public service to the Municipality, and expresses gratitude for her many contributions to the Municipality and the State of Alaska.

Check back for details.

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