Council extends manager's contract

Posted: Friday, February 04, 2011

Kenai's city council voted to amend the extend the city manager's contract by adding three years to it.

After two executive sessions at prior meetings, the council decided to the extend the contract. There was no public discussion of the contract extension beyond a report that it was discussed in executive session.

City Manager Rick Koch said previously that he requested the discussion because if the council had intended not to renew the contract, they would need to begin the hiring process in the near future.

Councilman Mike Boyle said he was against the extension because of the process by which the council had made the decision.

"They took action last week without public hearing," he said. Boyle was referring to the council's Jan. 19 decision to extend the contract, which came after the second executive session on the matter. There was no discussion at that time, and it was a unanimous move. Boyle was absent from that meeting.

Boyle said the contract also didn't necessarily reflect the city's best interests, because being locked in for four-and-a-half-years isn't necessarily a wise decision.

"I think we were a little bit rushed," he said.

Koch has worked for the city since March 2006. His current contract was set to end in March 2012. As amended, it will end on March 5, 2015.

Boyle was joined in his opposition to the contract by fellow councilman Bob Molloy. Mayor Pat Porter and the rest of the council -- Joe Moore, Brian Gabriel, Ryan Marquis, and Terry Bookey -- voted in favor of the extension.

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