Assembly tentatively plans manager transition

MICHAEL POWERS

Michael Powers was terminated as Kodiak Island Borough manager effective at 8 a.m. this morning (Friday) following a 4-3 vote by the borough assembly Thursday night.

The Assembly cast the vote following an executive session evaluation of Powers and a re-ordering of the agenda. The Assembly was originally set to discuss consideration of notice for Powers’ contract, which was due to end May 22, 2022, as well as a transition plan and recruitment.

Assembly Member James Turner requested the items be moved to after the executive session.

Once the Assembly emerged from executive session, Assembly Member Geoff Smith made the motion to terminate Powers. In the 4-3 vote, Assembly members James Turner, Joe Delgado and Julie Kavanaugh voted no. Smith, along with Assembly members Scott Arndt, Dennis Symmons and Aimee Williams voted yes.

Powers will be paid compensation as stipulated in the section “termination for other than good cause.” Under that section, Powers will be paid an amount equal to six months’ pay and benefits, plus any accrued annual leave.

The Assembly had previously decided not to extend or offer Powers a new contract following an executive session evaluation in May. Powers told the Kodiak Daily Mirror in June that Borough Mayor Bill Roberts had informed him of the assembly’s decisions.

Afterward, over the course of regular meetings and work sessions, Powers began laying out a tentative transition plan/timeline for new manager recruitment. 

Revisions were made to the manager’s job description and advertising material but all of that was paused during an Aug. 19 meeting when the Assembly discussed whether it had actually disclosed publicly the action it had taken not to renew Powers’ contract. 

Turner additionally commented at the Aug. 19 meeting that neither the assembly nor manager had taken any action. The borough, Turner suggested, could continue to employ Powers as manager through a few ways, such as month-to-month or on a yearly basis instead of the standard three-year contract.

The Assembly will now discuss future options to fill the vacant borough manager spot during a special session Thursday night following its work session.

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