Wrede Marks Ten Years As Homer City Manager
Walt Wrede has served as the city manager of Homer for ten years.
The tasks of a city manager range from implementing municipal policy decided on by the Homer City Council to supervising the day-to-day activities of the city government. Wrede says he got his start in city government under less than ideal circumstances.
"My first job working directly as a city emplpoyee was with the City of Cordova ... and I got there right after the oil spill," he said. "So, it was a pretty stressful time in Cordova, as you can imagine."
Years later, after a stint as borough manager for the Lake and Peninsula Borough and bit more schooling, Wrede found his way to Homer and was hired as city manager. Again, like with Cordova, Wrede says he happened to arrive at a time of great contention and high emotions.
"The city had just gone through a very contentious annexation battle," he said. "The previous city manager had resigned under some pressure ... and the city council was in a little bit of turmoil at the time. One of my top priorities was to calm things down and try to restore some stability and respect to the city government."
Wrede says that upon taking on the job his priority was to establish constant communication between his office and the city council.
"One of the first things that I tried to do was build trust," he said.
In the 10 years since becoming City Manager Wrede has seen many proposals come before the city council, including controversial items like the proposed addition of a big box store and the Town Center project, but has still maintained his post. He says he is very grateful.
"It's a long time for a city manager ...it's a pretty political position and ... anytime four city council members are unhappy with me, I could be gone," he said. "Homer has put up with me for ten years and I am happy about that."