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Dillingham’s city manager search is on hold 

Dillingham's City Hall, 2023.
Courtesy of Brian Venua
Dillingham's City Hall, 2023.

At the February 1 city council meeting, the council failed to override the 1-year prohibition period that prevents Acting City Manager Kimberly Johnson from taking on the role officially.

The city’s code allows for a former elected municipal official – like a city council member – to become city manager after a 1-year prohibition period. The council can also waive that 1-year period with a three-fourths majority vote by the authorized membership of the governing body.

At February’s meeting, the council failed to override the 1-year prohibition period for Johnson, with council members Michael Bennet, Steven Carriere, Bert Luckhurst and Kaleb Westfall voting yes on waiving it and council members Curt Armstrong and Kevin McCambly voting no.

Previously, Dillingham’s code prevented former council members from taking on the role of city manager for a period of two years after stepping down from the council. The Council changed the city’s code regarding city manager hiring to its present form in December, aligning it with Alaska’s state statute.

After the failed vote, council member Michael Bennet introduced a resolution to move appointing Kimberly Johnson as the city manager to the consent agenda. A consent agenda is generally used when routine matters have already been introduced, and is reviewed periodically, according to Roberts Rules of Order. That resolution passed unanimously. Johnson stepped down from the council last June.

The council also voted to conclude the city’s contract with Pearson Consulting, the firm hired to assist the city in its managerial search. The decision came after Pearson had sourced nearly a dozen candidates.

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.
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