City Manager transition before City Council tonight

Mar 9, 2020

 

Credit City of Homer

   The City of Homer will be facing roughly two months without a city manager between the departure of Katie Koester in early April, and the arrival on June 1 of her replacement. The city is currently in negotiations with Randy Robertson, the current city manager of Aberdeen, Maryland, to take over the job.

    In a committee of the whole meeting before tonight’s (Monday) regular meeting, council members will consider two options for the two-month gap. One is to appoint a department head from within to be interim city manager. Koester wrote in a memo to the council that City Planner Rick Abboud serves that role when she’s absent. She’s concerned that managing both the Planning Department and city operations could cause a slow down in planning commission work that’s in progress.

    The other option Koester is suggesting is to hire an interim city manager, as it has done in the past. In 2015, Marvin Yoder filled in after Walt Wrede’s employment ended. At the time Yoder was paid roughly $9,300 per month.

    A resolution approving a contract with Robertson is on tonight’s regular city council meeting agenda.

    Koester’s last day will be April 10.

    An ordinance appropriating $10,000 for a Library Endowment Fund within the Homer Foundation will have a public hearing tonight before a final vote. It will also create a budget line item for the endowment fund’s expenditures and revenues.

    The city council will also consider issuing a request for a lobbyist to represent the city in the state capital as the regular legislative session winds down.

    Upgrades and improvements will be coming to Homer Skate Park if the council approves a resolution authorizing the Friends of the skate park to undertake its revitalization. The only caveat is that the improvements must be re-locatable, in the event a new space becomes available in association with the HERC or proposed future multi-use community center.

    Another resolution up for consideration calls on Alaska’s Congressional Delegation to restore funding for the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Kachemak Bay reserve is one of 29 nationwide, and the only one in Alaska. It partners with the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Conservation Science to monitor the health of the bay, and it educates and trains residents and visitors about the bay’ unique ecology.

    The Homer City Council meets at 6 p.m., and it will be broadcast live here on KBBI AM 890 Homer.