Seat B on the Soldotna City Council has a new occupant in resident Steve Manley after former member Meggean Bos—Marquez left it empty.
Manley was interviewed and voted in at the council’s Wednesday meeting. Originally competing against two other applicants, he competed against only Dan Nelson of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management for the position Bos-Marquez, who is moving out of state, vacated last month.
“I had some folks that I like and know and trust ask if I was interested in the position, and it’s something I’ve thought about for a while,” Manley said.
He will serve in Seat B on the council until the seat is up for reelection in October. Manley said he’s not yet sure whether he’ll run to keep the position, though he’s “certainly considered it.”
When asked during his interview whether he could foresee any perceived bias because of his position as the president of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, Manley said he would not hesitate to abstain from voting in matters concerning the chamber if it ever became an issue.
Manley has served as the chamber’s president since January. He has been on the board of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank since 2013.
Manley said he thinks his background in finance will be a boon to the council as it rounds out its work on this year’s budget cycle.
“I have some education and background in finance and familiarity with budgets and the budget process,” he said.
Between now and October, Manley said he’s not sure there will be time to tackle any big issues on the council, though he believes some uncertainty regarding the impact of the city’s loss of the year-round sales tax on nonprepared food items should clear up by then.
Manley’s family is supportive of his new position on the council, he said.
“They’re excited,” he said. “It’s another thing I’ve added to the plate, but I don’t really have any other hobbies. I don’t hunt or fish ... so this is what I like to do.”
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