Carey to fill top aide spots, Bannock will return to Spruce Bark Beetle program

Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Kenai Peninsula Borough's administration is set for another shakeup.

Borough Mayor Dave Carey will go public later this week to announce filling three positions within his office.

"At the end of this week there will be an announcement naming the new chief of staff, new special assistant and new administrative assistant," Carey said on Monday.

Acting Chief of Staff Duane Bannock will return to his previous post as the manager of the Spruce Bark Beetle Mitigation Program, according to the mayor.

"(Bannock) was brought in as an interim chief of staff and that was the plan," Carey said.

On Monday, Bannock deferred comments to the mayor, but he did not deny his departure from the post.

"That was what we had originally intended, and I believe that was what I said back in February," Bannock said.

Carey would not release details about who would take Bannock's place or who would fill the other positions.

Susan Wilcox currently serves as the mayor's special assistant and a temporary employee currently works as the administrative assistant.

Bannock stepped into the acting chief of staff role in February after the mayor's former chief of staff, Hugh Chumley, announced his resignation in January, citing personal reasons for his departure.

When Bannock took the temporary job, he said it was his intent to cut one position from the mayor's office, effectively combining the chief of staff and special assistant positions.

"My goal over the next few months is to eliminate one major position in the mayor's office," Bannock told the Clarion in February. "Thus, I would consider it a failure if the mayor wants me to be there in four months."

Carey said that notion of combining the jobs will be partially reflected in the upcoming announcement.

Sterling Assemblyman Charlie Pierce, who once supported Carey, has recently become critical of the mayor's decisions. Pierce sees importance in the individuals who Carey picks for top positions.

"You are only as strong as the people that you circle yourself with. I have had some concerns with who he has selected to circle himself with," Pierce said. "There are a number of issues we have dealt with since he has taken over as mayor."

Assembly President Pete Sprague said he is sorry to see Bannock leave the mayor's office.

"Mr. Bannock's background at both the local government and at the state level was a real asset," Sprague said. "He knows a lot of people and he's comfortable in that arena."

Andrew Waite can be reached at andrew.waite@peninsulaclarion.com



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