After three months with the Kodiak Island Borough, new manager Michael Powers recommends some changes and new directions for the borough while praising staff and the community for its diversity.

In a three-page 90-day report, Powers calls for expanded recycling, short- and long-term goal planning, a borough facilities plan, more interaction with villages, more training, and a review of borough organization, committees and assembly processes.

Powers wrote the goals are needed “to be the guiding overall policy direction.”

He also calls for several new planning efforts: a facilities plan for borough-owned properties and buildings, an overall plan for land disposal, an economic development plan, and studying “our housing stock, needs and economics of the same.”

Powers wrote the borough should review its organization because it appears to have “morphed over the years by downsizing, but without a plan to do so. Some of the divisions of responsibility are unclear and not always logically located together.”

Powers acknowledged difficulty in recruiting staff and thinks the borough should conduct a “review of the classification system, salaries and benefits … over the next several years.”

He calls for fewer ordinances and more resolutions, noting “a rule of thumb from a city clerk’s class was to only codify (by ordinance) those items that will be on the books for years, otherwise use a resolution.”

He writes that the borough needs more recycling and “an invigorated community effort to ‘Keep Kodiak Clean.’”

He says the borough has trouble filling positions on committees and, “The assembly should strategically consider their roles, functions and possible options to make sure the borough operates in a responsive manner,” as well as try to recruit new people onto the committees and offer a “a citizen’s academy for civic engagement” to get people involved.

He said current staff are “educated, knowledgeable and willing to serve the community,” but needed more training, “including (in) Emergency Management.”

He noted the diversity of Kodiak as a positive thing, calling attention to diversity in utilities, efforts to diversify the economy and cultural diversity.

His report concludes, “Kodiak has successfully dealt with significant change in the past to remain a vibrant community when many other communities have failed. I look forward to working with the Assembly to continue to make Kodiak a great community and to work towards an even more prosperous future.” 

Contact staff reporter Julie Herrmann at julie@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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