Rob Steedle has been appointed Juneau’s next Deputy City Manager.
The long-time CBJ employee was selected by current Deputy Manager Kim Kiefer, who assumes the top job next month. Casey Kelly has more.
Rob Steedle moved to Juneau with the intention of staying a year, maybe two.
“But then, I met a woman and we’ve lived here happily ever after ever since,” he says.
Today, Steedle and his wife Jetta Whitaker have two kids – a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter.
He’s worked in the city’s Information Technology department since 1992, serving 14 years as IT Director. Last year, he took over a project to convert all CBJ computers to new software, which he’ll continue to lead as Deputy Manager.
Through his work, Steedle says he’s become familiar with all city departments.
“What I’m looking forward to is, working with them and taking a broader look at what they’re doing,” he says. “Not just looking at it through an information technology lens.”
Steedle says a balanced budget and the possible reopening of the AJ Mine are two issues that will dominate his first few months on the job. He says his primary role will be to work with Kiefer to support the city’s department heads.
“Our departments are headed by people with passion for their work and sometimes they need guidance from the manager’s office,” Steedle says. “And that’s what we’re there to do, to make sure they get their work done.”
Kiefer says she selected Steedle because of his broad familiarity with the city, and because his knowledge of the organization compliments hers.
“One of the projects he worked on was consolidated dispatch for fire and police. So, he understands some of those needs much better than I do, and he can help me with my learning curve with that,” Kiefer says. “And same thing with ambulance billing; so, he understands that internal piece within the fire department and what it takes to do sort of the back end of their business.”
Kiefer says she did not look outside the city for her replacement, partially because she believes in hiring from within, but also because there was a time crunch.
“Because we’re going right into the budget process, and we’re still trying to look for savings of $4.2-million, I need to have somebody there to help with that process,” says Kiefer. “And having someone who can hit the ground running, I think is critical to the organization.”
Steedle has a Bachelors’ degree in Philosophy from State University of New York at Binghamton, and a Masters’ in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast.
His starting salary as Deputy Manager will be $125,800. He and Kiefer start their new positions April 1st.
Current City Manager Rod Swope is retiring after nine years on the job.