The City and Borough of Juneau has received 25 applications from people interested in replacing outgoing City Manager Rod Swope, who’s retiring at the end of March.
CBJ Human Resources Director Mila Cosgrove wasn’t surprised by the number of applicants. But the number from out-of-state was a little surprising, given that advertising for the position was limited to Alaska.
“I think that people are interested in the opportunity of coming to Juneau and the job market is still pretty soft down south,” says Cosgrove.
In late October, the Assembly decided on an expedited search for Swope’s replacement. The application deadline closed on December 1st, and the assembly’s self-imposed timeline calls for offering the job to someone by January 30th.
City Manager and City Attorney are the only positions hired by the assembly. But Cosgrove says she’s there to provide support if members request it.
“As a general rule, my office will collect the applications and do some level of screening for qualifications and checking references and that type of thing,” Cosgrove says. “The assembly, at least with the last city manager process we did was very hands on in terms of wanting to interview and select the candidates. I would imagine that will be the case this time as well.”
Deputy Mayor David Stone says the Assembly is looking for a person who has good management experience with a municipal budget as large, or larger than Juneau’s.
“And of course we’re unique in that we have some enterprise boards – hospital, the airport; we’re unusual even for the state of Alaska. We’re one of the very few that owns an airport,” Stone says. “I think we’re looking for strong leadership skills. Because this is a strong manager form of government, the manager’s really the CEO.”
Stone says it’s likely that the list will be pared down significantly at tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
“I think we want to make it manageable. So I’m assuming we’re going to whittle it down to four or five, maybe a few more than that. But I doubt that we’d go much higher than that,” he says.
Stone says the finalists will be invited to come to Juneau for a series of in-person interviews. Those will likely take place in mid-January.
Among the applicants is current Deputy City Manager Kim Kiefer, who served as interim manager in 2009 when Swope took a six-month sabbatical.
Below is the list of all the applicants.
- "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
- Rep. Les Gara wants to make sure state budget cuts don’t fall too heavily on working-class and low-income people. Instead, he wants a new business tax.
- The Legislative Council is seeking advice from a finance expert on what to do about the controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.
- For the first time, scientists have documented the prevalence of two biotoxins in Alaska’s marine mammal population above the Arctic Circle.