Key positions in City government to be filled
The Nome Planning Commission met Feb. 4 and received an update on efforts to fill two critical city positions, which have been vacant. “The police chief’s deadline for resumés is closed,” said City Manager Glenn Steckman. “Finance director is closed.” Steckman is flying to Washington for a week on Port Commission business and the process of selecting candidates for the two positions will proceed when he returns. “The first step is for the Public Safety Commission to work with me for the police chief,” said Steckman.
Steckman reports a Homeland Security grant is in the works and it is new in that a municipality has worked with a tribal organization for the grant. It will provide the Nome Police Department with EMS materials.
The City is advertising for a city planner consultant for work on the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The city has allocated $20,000 for the position and will provide rooms, a per diem, and airfare back and forth to Nome. “It’s going to be impossible to find someone who’s living here,” said Steckman. The candidate must be certified as a planner and have seven to 10 years of experience. “I would like someone who is at least familiar of Alaska, and especially rural Alaska,” said Steckman.
An animal control contractor has been hired, reported Steckman. “This will save the city some money but we also know that the animal control building needs some improvements that are overdue,” he said. City staff has been meeting to plan for the Iditarod. Nome Eskimo Community awarded the city $50,000 which is being used in dust abatement during the summer.
The City has been operating the swimming pool along with the school district without a memorandum of understanding or agreement. “It’s all been handshake and it’s getting complicated now,” said Steckman. “We’ve had some extreme high temperatures on the pool deck, they’re having problems with their control system.”
There was an error in last year’s police budget of over $175,000 in labor costs that were not accounted for. “There have been some mistakes,” said Steckman. “This is where we’re having all this turnover in staff.”
There was also a discussion of Historic Preservation Commission activities. There is a board sidewalk buried under part of Steadman Street, which is of interest as part of Nome’s history. “In terms of keeping some of Nome’s historic flavor for consideration for historic overlay I would imagine that a boardwalk segment is one of the things that could be easily done,” said Chairman Kenneth Hughes.
The Department of Natural Resources sent a letter informing of a grant for a King Island sign at East End park and an interpretive panel.
A letter from Trish Neal of the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation informs the city of the deadline for nominations of Alaska’ Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties for 2020. “The program calls attention to threatened properties that define our great state, the people that live here, and the identity we share,” wrote Neal.