The City Council now intends to offer Scott Meszaros the job as Seward’s next city manager after front-runner Erin Reinders withdrew from consideration. The council met in executive session on Tuesday – during which they are legally prohibited from taking action – and will meet again Wednesday to make the offer official.
Meszaros was most recently the town manager of Meeker, Colo., a community in Colorado’s northwest Rio Blanco County. He was the only other finalist for city manager. He and fellow finalist Erin Reinders both traveled to Seward in late March to interview.
“I’m still super excited about coming up and getting to know everybody,” said Meszaros, who has long wanted to move to the 49th State.
Reinders, the council’s initial choice, turned down an offer from the Seward City Council on April 15, several hours before a noon deadline set by the council’s negotiating committee. Reinders received an offer from Seward on April 1, the same day that the city manager in Unalaska delivered his resignation.
Reinders is currently the assistant city manager in Unalaska. The Unalaska City Council voted unanimously in an April 11 meeting to appoint her city manager after current manager Thomas E. Thomas leaves his post at the end of May.
“She has decided to accept the offer from Unalaska,” said Vice Mayor Sue McClure, the current senior member of the council’s negotiating team. “We had a very brief negotiating committee meeting by phone this morning, and she was right up front about it.”
Reinders did not respond to voicemail seeking comment. Mayor David Squires, who previously served on the negotiating committee, is out of town.
Although the council had unanimously chosen Reinders, most members said at the time that the race between her and Meszaros had been close.
“We all said the next guy’s great and it was a hard decision,” said Council Member Suzi Towsley. “I have talked to some constituents who have suggested sending it out again for more applicants. While I understand their concerns, I meant what I said when I said it was a hard decision.”
“The only thing that catapulted her over him in my head is that she has Alaskan experience,” Towsley added. “We can get Scott up to speed. It’s not rocket science. It’s just Alaska politics.”