The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved an initial timeline to recruit a permanent manager at a special meeting last week.
Meagan Christiansen, who handles special projects for the borough, provided an update to the Assembly in a work session prior to the special meeting. She is tasked with spearheading the borough manager recruitment process.
The approved timeline involves a four-week advertising process starting Sept. 20 for the first batch of applications.
The Assembly terminated former manager Michael Powers following a Sep. 2 executive session. Dave Conrad, director of engineering and facilities, is serving as acting manager for at least 90 days.
“With the lack of a full-time manager, it seems a lot more important to get this underway,” Christiansen said.
Most of the recruitment package, including job summary, description and qualifications, and description of the borough have already been vetted by the assembly in past meetings, Christiansen said.
She advised that one option, which recommended advertising to start in December, was no longer attractive. The other option, which launches advertising in September, had some concerns since the initial and final interview/selection process will run through both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Christiansen also recommended an initial four-week advertising period as opposed to an extended period.
“Once people begin to send applications, they will be a little antsy the longer the process is,” Christiansen said.
When it came to discussion of price, Christiansen said the manager’s office budget did not include funds for recruiting. Either a line adjustment within the budget or transfer from another budget account would be needed.
Assembly Member Dennis Symmons said the borough couldn’t be frugal about cost.
“It’s splash time with the risk of pulling even one more candidate,” Symmons said. “I think we should spend the money, wherever it comes from.”
During the special meeting discussion, Assembly Member Aimee Williams proposed getting the advertising process moving, including the Sept. 20 advertising start and an Oct. 22 first review deadline.
The rest of the timeline could be approved at an upcoming regular meeting, Williams said.
A tentative timeline following those dates would include distribution of applications to assembly members for review and scoring, discussion of questions to be asked for the first round of interviews, narrowing down the list of applicants and emailing questions to candidates. The assembly would then review returned answers, select candidates to interview and conduct initial interviews via Zoom.
The borough would advertise internally, through the newspaper, Alaska Municipal League and other governmental associations and LinkedIn.
Williams proposed advertising on additional platforms, since times had changed since the borough last recruited a manager in 2016.
“As time changes and technology changes, there are more ways to apply for a job,” Williams said. “There are several sites people are looking at now compared to five years ago. I’d like to include a younger demographic looking at this. I want to make sure we are hitting all avenues so we can get the best candidate possible.”