The city has hired a new city finance director who will work remotely out of Wasilla, according to a city press release.
Julie Liew replaced Kelly Mayes as the new finance director. Liew has been working as the interim finance director since April.
According to Deputy City Manager Josie Bahnke, there were no local applicants for the position. Liew will be flown into Kodiak two weeks each month, she said.
“Ms. Julie Liew brings with her an extensive professional finance background and most recently she worked as Finance Director for the City of Nome,” said the press release.
“During her leadership in Nome, Julie increased savings for city-wide funds from $10.6 million to $15.8 million. She also implemented many finance related initiatives to enhance efficiency, productivity, and accountability.”
Liew holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of San Francisco and a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University.
“The City of Kodiak is fortunate to have someone with municipal expertise and a track record of exceptional leadership and innovation,” said City Manager Mike Tvenge in the press release.
“During her two months as Interim Finance Director, Julie has proven that she is the right person for the job. Her well-informed perspective on state programs, including the administration of CARES Act funding has been mission-critical at this time.”
The finance director position had been held on and off by Mayes since 2015.
After Mayes resigned from the position in May 2018, Interim Finance Director Karl Swanson was hired while the city tried to find a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy. He was provided with roundtrip airfare from Anchorage to Kodiak “not to exceed one roundtrip ticket every two weeks,” as well as lodging, the use of a vehicle, and $50 a day to cover the cost of meals while in Kodiak.
Swanson held the position from June 2018 until February 2019, when Mayes was rehired for the position, according to records from a Feb. 14 city council meeting during which Mayes was welcomed back to the position by Tvenge.
According to the City Manager’s Office, Mayes held the finance director position remotely from California but made trips to Kodiak once a month for seven to 10 days each, until mid-March 2020, when coronavirus-related travel restrictions were enacted. The city paid travel and lodging costs during her frequent trips to Kodiak.
The finance director’s salary ranges from $85,106 to $127,660 per year.
Responsibilities include overseeing a $35-$45 million annual operating budget and a variable capital budget, as well as directing, coordinating and managing activities and staff of the finance and information technology departments, among other responsibilities.