City honors longtime employees Kern and Chaney

Capital Transit superintendent John Kern and deputy city manager Rob Steedle. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Capital Transit superintendent John Kern and deputy city manager Rob Steedle (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Capital Transit superintendent John Kern is retiring after 37 years with the city. The Juneau Assembly Monday bid him farewell, said goodbye to longtime city employee Bonnie Chaney, then welcomed the hospital’s new CEO.

Deputy city manager Rob Steedle recounted Kern’s career, which started in community development in 1977. Kern moved to Capital Transit in 1983.

“And when he began, the fleet consisted of six buses that had been purchased used, three of them were Army surplus buses, so it was quite a fleet,” Steedle said. “So back then, we had hourly service to the Valley and Douglas six days a week and in ’92 added Sunday service and since then, the service has continued to expand.”

Under Kern’s leadership, Capital Transit was named one of the Ten Best Small Transit Agencies in North America in 1999 by METRO Magazine and recognized by the Community Transportation Association of America in 2003. The Governor’s Committee on Employment and Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities awarded Capital Transit a Barrier-Free Design award in 2006.

Budget analyst Bonnie Chaney and Mayor Merrill Sanford. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Budget analyst Bonnie Chaney and Mayor Merrill Sanford (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Budget analyst Bonnie Chaney has been with the City and Borough of Juneau for 28 years.

Finance Director Bob Bartholomew said he’s learned a lot from her. Chaney’s been responsible for putting together the city’s budget book, which was nationally recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association.

With her retirement, Bartholomew said the city is losing a lot of institutional knowledge.

“It was demonstrated this year. Several assembly members, during the budget process, [said], ‘You know, I’d like to know the history of this fund.’ And early the next morning, Bonnie would come in and she’d put together a spreadsheet and she’d email it to me and say, ‘Well it started in ’83 and here’s every penny that went in and every penny that came out,'” Bartholomew said.

Bartlett Regional Hospital CEO Chuck Bill. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Bartlett Regional Hospital CEO Chuck Bill (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Bartlett Regional Hospital Chief Executive Officer Chuck Bill has been on the job for only a week. Mayor Merrill Sanford introduced him to the assembly.

“If you can do as good as these two people that are leaving us here in the near future and be here for 24 to 37 years, you’ll be doing very well,” Sanford said.

Bill moved to Juneau from Durango, Colo., where he was an assistant administrator of physician development at Centura Health Physician Group.

“My wife and I are thrilled to be coming to Juneau. My mom grew up here so we have family ties and I do have a cousin that still lives in town, so it’s not totally new to us, although we haven’t been through all the seasons so we’ll figure them out,” Bill said.

Bill spent last week meeting staff and getting oriented at Bartlett during last week’s National Hospital Week. He’s previously held other CEO positions at hospitals in Arizona, California and Colorado.

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