New police chief hire on Aug. 27 Common Council agenda
Selection of a replacement for Nome’s retiring Police Chief John Papasodora is coming to a wrap-up, according to Tom Moran, city manager and top hiring officer.
Nome Code of Ordinances hands Moran the duty to hire the police chief subject to approval by the Nome Common Council.
Moran hopes to have a name before the Nome Common Council for approval at next Monday’s regular Council meeting.
Under coffee klatsch and social media indictment by some people concerned about the amount of advertisement and public involvement in the hiring process, Moran explained his search for police chief candidates to the Nugget.
“I assembled an interview panel for our six applicants—one withdrew to make it five—because I wanted to, not because I had to appoint a panel,” Moran responded to a question concerning public involvement in the hiring process.
Members of the interview panel represent divisions of the City’s government and local public safety services: Councilmen Doug Johnson and Mark Johnson; Paul Kosto, Nome Volunteer Fire Dept.; John Handeland, Nome Volunteer Ambulance Dept.; Dana Handeland, City of Nome and Alaska State Trooper James Eyester.
“The two finalists came to Nome and both met with the City Council in executive session,” Moran reported.
Additionally, the two hopefuls had appointments with Anvil Mountain Correctional Center, Alaska State Troopers, Norton Sound Behavioral Health Service, and Nome Youth Facility, Moran said.“We posted the job locally, statewide, nationally and internationally,” Moran said Friday.
An independent search of the internet revealed an ad for the job opening and job description taken from the Nome Code of Ordinances has been listed on the web page of International Association of Police Chiefs jobs section for over a month. The position opening has been spotted on a bulletin board at City Hall. Another internet ad appears on state Dept. of Public Safety Web site.
According to Nome Code of Ordinances Chapter 2.35.020, “the city manager shall: (g): serve as personnel officer, unless the council authorizes the manager to appoint a personnel officer.”
The NCO also charges the city manager with the duty to “fix by regulations the compensation, job classification and terms of employment of all city employees, administrators and administrative assistants,” a clause added by ordinance in 1993.According to the Nome Code of Ordinances Chapter 2.40.040, “The chief of police shall be appointed by the city manager, subject to confirmation by the city council”.
Nome Common Council meetings by law are open to the public and fall under sunshine laws. There are two standing agenda items allowing for public comment at the first part and the end of regular meetings for folks who want to guide their representatives or express opinions on agenda issues. Public comment periods are usually lightly used by the few citizens who attend.
Papasodora’s last day as chief of Nome Police Dept. will be Sept. 30 when his contract expires. He has chosen not to renew. Papasodora took over as chief of Nome Police Dept. in 2009, following his retirement from Alaska State Troopers.