The City Council of Unalaska has voted to offer Erin Reinders the job as that city’s manager at the same time that Reinders is considering an offer from the Seward City Council.
Reinders was the unanimous first choice of the Seward City Council after concluding interviews at the end of last month. Now she proves equally popular with the elected leaders in Unalaska, where she is currently assistant city manager.
The Unalaska City Council held a special meeting on Thursday and voted unanimously to offer Reinders a contract, reports Unalaska radio station KUCB. The offer has been made on a “sole-source” basis – that is, without soliciting applications or seeking other candidates.
The offer in Unalaska comes ahead of the departure of Unalaska City Manager Thomas E. Thomas, who submitted his resignation on April 1, around the same time that Reinders got an offer from the Seward City Council.
Seward Mayor David Squires acknowledged that the competing opportunity could complicate Seward’s efforts to recruit a permanent manager.
“To be frank on it, there’s some things that Unalaska would be able to offer her that we won’t. If they offer her the city manager’s job out there without any competition, it’s just move the office, you know?”
Seward has been without a long-term officer at the head of its administration since Jim Hunt walked off the job in August 2018.
A sequence of temporary managers have held the reins since that time, beginning with Fire Chief Eddie Athey, who served as acting city manager until the council secured the services of Jeff Bridges, who served for six months from September to March.
Harbormaster Norm Regis is currently serving as acting city manager and agreed at the most recent council member to serve for another month if necessary.