June has brought some changes to the Dillingham City Council. Chris Napoli will replace Tracy Hightower as an interim city council member.
Chris Napoli was sworn in as an interim city council member at the June 21 meeting.
“I put my letter of interest in to Mayor Ruby," said Napoli during the citizens' discussion. "I’d look to help you guys as an experienced former council member. I understand parliamentary procedures, I look forward to working with you folks, and I hope that you would appoint me to the seat.”
Two other letters of interest were submitted for the position; Mayor Alice Ruby said that one applicant had not been living in Dillingham for the required 12-month period. The other application was submitted with insufficient time for review. In recommending Napoli’s appointment, Ruby noted his previous experience in city government.
“I would recommend that the council appoint Chris Napoli because his past experience on the council will allow him to hit the ground running," she said. "Not that I expect any big issues, but it does make it a lot easier when somebody is familiar with the City of Dillingham’s responsibilities and the council’s roles and so on.”
Napoli is replacing Tracy Hightower, who had served on the council since 2008. Hightower resigned at the June seventh council meeting due, in part, to the city’s budget management.
“There’s been so much issues with the budget, which is a big chunk of the reason why I resigned," Hightower said in an interview following his resignation. "It seems like every year we go through this budget cycle and everything, and I see all sorts of, ‘We need to find more revenue, more revenue, more revenue, but nobody ever talks about ‘we need to cut spending,’ which is what’s really drained me over the years.”
Ruby said that although preliminary talks are not binding, Napoli has indicated that he doesn’t plan to run for a permanent council seat when the city holds elections in November.
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