The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

Council evaluates manager

 

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Karin Sturdy (left) joins Mayor David Seaward (right) in the presentation of the Adelmann Appreciation Award to Tessa Adelmann (center). This accolade is bestowed upon graduating Seward High School seniors who have demonstrated leadership in TYC mentoring programs beginning in the fifth grade with the TYC Youth Council.

The regular Seward City Council meeting Monday was conducted with nary a hitch as several agenda items were relegated to the consent agenda and passed without further discussion. The informational agenda packet, downloadable from cityofseward.net, was a bantamweight at 46 pages.

In a special work session immediately preceding the scheduled meeting, contracting out janitorial work for the new Seward Community Library Museum was considered. City administration discussed the costs and practical aspects of outsourcing the work in contrast to hiring new city employees.

Ron Long, assistant city manager, noted that merely the yearly burden of benefits would cost half of the janitorial contract under consideration. The expenditures for wages, over and above the obligations for benefits such as medical and retirement, would substantially exceed the city’s yearly outlay for the contract under consideration. After some discussion and questions from Mayor David Seaward regarding the scope of work to be performed by the contractor, the contract was unanimously approved.

As part of Council’s program of participating in the recognition of area residents and organizations for contributions to the community, Karin Sturdy of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department recognized sponsors to that department for their support in community activities. Among them, Terry’s Tires for their Bike Rodeo, the Elks’ Breakfast with Santa and the upcoming Breeze Inn Avalanche Classic Basketball Tourney were specifically cited. Tessa Adelmann was presented with the Adelmann Appreciation Award which has been awarded to only five Seward students over the past six years.

Resolution 2013-0007 was approved, allowing the city manager to sign off on the transfer of the lease for the ACS cellular monopole lot across to the bay to the new ACS-GCI partnership, Alaska Wireless Network. American Legion Post #5 and Gene’s Place liquor license renewals were moved forward and Resolution 2013-008, providing city support to legislative efforts to construct a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska, was summarily approved. Also slipping through without consideration at the session was the November financial reports for Seward Providence Medical & Care Center.

Another of the agenda items, discussion on a community fluoridation compromise, didn’t develop further at the session. Councilor Ristine Casagranda withdrew the resolution on the subject at the city council meeting of Jan. 14 in favor of further dialogue between council members. According to Casagranda, she has met with Councilor Marianna Keil and they will continue to work on a compromise initiative.

Concerns over the lack of community participation in the student exchange program were brought forward by Seward International Friendship Association President Jim Herbert. One of the primary obstacles to participation is apparently the cost of airfare according to Herbert and several members of Council. Prompted by Councilor Vanta Shafer, Council agreed to pursue at least partial reimbursement or financing of travel for the program. Councilor Terry proposed limiting the city’s contribution to $1,000 per student up to two students by criteria to be developed.

Finally, the council adjourned into executive session to address the city manager’s yearly evaluation. While the public and non essential personnel were departing the area, Jim Hunt, Seward city manager, appeared somewhat pensive. Adjusting his necktie, he evinced no worries, but commented that “something always comes up.”

 

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