Kenai search narrowed to 5

Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The search for a new Kenai city manager has been narrowed to five semifinalists, including three from Alaska.

Acting City Manager Chuck Kopp said he is now contacting all job references provided by the five applicants, and said he will assimilate the information and forward it to the city council for review.

The five candidates were selected from 54 people who applied for the position, which has been open since July when the council decided not to renew City Manager Linda Snow’s contract.

The three Alaska finalists are Palmer Public Works Director Rick Koch, North Slope Borough Manager Dennis Packer and Wasilla Economic Development Director Ron Singel.

The other finalists are David Thompson, business administrator for the city of Lumberton, N.J., and Michael Miller, county administrative coordinator from Tergo, Wis.

“I anticipate the council will schedule a work session for mid-December to narrow it down to one or possibly two,” Kopp said Tuesday.

He also said that, assuming one of the candidates meets all the qualifications, a job offer could be made shortly after the first of the year.

When the city manager vacancy was first published, the announcement stated, “The starting salary will be dependent upon qualifications. The last manager’s salary was $98,000 per year, a monthly vehicle allowance and an excellent benefit package.”

Kopp, who also is the Kenai police chief, has been receiving an additional $1,800 monthly stipend for fulfilling the city manager duties while continuing to serve as chief.

City officials have not revealed why Snow’s contract was not renewed, other than to say the decision was in the best interest of the city.

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