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A new acting city manager, school funding and forklift repair concerns at Dillingham’s June 29 city council meeting


The Dillingham City Council addressed several items at last week’s special meeting, including allocating more funding to the school district and appointing a new acting city manager.

Councilmembers Curt Armstrong, Michael Bennet, Aksel Buholm and Kim Johnson formed a quorum. A quorum is the minimum number of members required to pass motions, according to Robert's Rules of Order, the parliamentary procedure that the council follows.

The quorum unanimously passed the revised memorandum to raise school district funding from $1.4 to $1.7 million. At the city’s June 15 meeting, the entire council voted to amend the budget. This action approved that change.

Further, they voted to accept Johnson’s resignation from the council and appointed her as the acting city manager. Johnson did not vote on this item, due to conflict of interest, but the council reached member Perry Abrams via phone to pass it. This action also approved current acting city manager Lori Goodell’s resignation from the role. With a separate memorandum, the council approved a contract with Pearson Consulting to facilitate a search for a permanent city manager.

The council also passed motions approving the city’s liability insurance coverage contract, the contract with lobbyist Chris Hladick, and the purchase of a pick-up truck for the landfill. Councilmembers voted to add a friendly amendment that allocates an additional $25,000 to add a plow to the truck.

The council did not approve the contract to repair the city’s forklift. The city’s attorney, Sam Severin, said that as part of the contract, the city would need to coordinate with a qualified individual from the firm to make sure the forklift passed safety inspections. Buholm expressed concerns about who at the city would do this work.

“We don’t have a mechanic, we don’t have a public works director, we don’t even have a foreman anymore,” he said. “In two, three, four, five weeks, who is going to be the competent person?”

Severin said that the mandate in the contract falls on the hired firm to ensure the forklift passes safety measures.

“It’s an obligation on them to work directly with the acting city manager,” he said.

The item to appoint Officer Tracy O’Malley as interim chief of police did not pass. The original motion offered O’Malley the role on a rotational schedule, rather than working in Dillingham full-time.

Mayor Ruby raised the option of amending the motion so to offer the position to O’Malley provided she work in Dillingham full-time, but Bennet stated that current Acting Chief of Police Craig Maines was willing to continue in the role. No council member put forward the proposed amendment for discussion.

At the end of the meeting, the council accepted the resignation of member Abrams, thanking him for his work. Mayor Ruby also thanked Lori Goodell for her work as acting city manager.

There are now two open positions on the council and the city will soon accept letters of interest for potential council members. You can find more information on the meeting’s agenda, and the current members, on the city’s webpage.

A document listing the adopted and failed memorandums at the June 29 Dillingham City Council meeting.

Get in touch with the author at or 907-842-2200.

Christina McDermott began reporting for KDLG, Dillingham’s NPR member station, in March 2023. Previously, she worked with KCBX News in San Luis Obispo, California, where she focused on local news and cultural stories. She’s passionate about producing evocative, sound-rich work that informs and connects the public.