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Soldotna taps Bower for city manager job

 The Soldotna City Council in January.
Sabine Poux
The Soldotna City Council in January.

The Soldotna City Council has picked Janette Bower to be its next city manager.

Bower is currently the city manager of Seward and was one of two finalists for Soldotna’s position, alongside Elke Doom, of Michigan. If she and the city can agree on a contract, Bower will take over the role for Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen, who’s not renewing her contract with the city after five years on the job.

Bower has worked as a city administrator in Minnesota and has clerked in Palmer and Bethel. She has a diploma from Magic City High School in Minot. N.D. She has been city manager of Seward since May 2021.

Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney said Bower’s local experience played a role in the council’s decision.

 Janette Bower is currently the city manager in Seward.
City of Soldotna
Janette Bower at a job interview earlier this month.

“I think one of the main reasons was the Alaska experience,” Whitney said. “She’s been in Alaska for quite some time and has worked in various communities throughout the state.”

The city hosted open houses with Bower and Doom this week and last. At a meeting Monday, the city council voted to offer the contract to Bower following an executive session.

Whitney said the city has notified Bower of the decision. The next steps will be to finish a background check and negotiate terms of the contract. He said that might take a while to fall into place since Bower is currently on vacation; Bower could not be reached before air time.

Queen, the current city manager, will be with the city through the end of April. The Soldotna City Council extended her contract from its original February end date last week.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at