- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Bethel officials are mulling over applications for a new city manager.

The search comes after City Manager Ann Capela filed a notice to leave her three-year contract early at the end of June, citing struggles with the Arctic climate. The city agreed to let her leave without penalty, and she will step down Sept. 23.

So far, the City Council has received nine applications for the job. Councilors are holding weekly meetings, which are open to the public, to discuss potential candidates until they select a person for the job.

The search to hire Capela took six months, but Mayor Rick Robb said he’s not sure when the position will be filled.

“Ideally, in a perfect world, we would have a city manager hired before our current one leaves, or at the same time the current one leaves,” Robb told KYUK-AM (https://bit.ly/2aNGnIq).

The mayor said the city is looking for someone with leadership experience and the ability to handle budgets and personnel. He said hiring someone from the local community would be a plus.

“We’re interested if we had more local applicants, people who actually live here, and/or people who are more familiar with Alaska,” Robb said. “I’d definitely like to see that.”

The city manager serves as the chief executive officer of the city and oversees all department heads under the supervision of the City Council.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 24, but the date could be pushed back if no one is hired by then.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, https://www.kyuk.org

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