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Local government news from the KUCB Newsroom.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska officially has a new city manager.

Thomas E. Thomas will start March 19.

"He agreed to a contract over the weekend, but we had to get the City Council’s okay on it," said Mayor Frank Kelty, who handled negotiations as directed by the council. "Now, we have a done deal."



The City of Unalaska will pay $36,000 to help sink a boat that’s already on the ocean floor.

The state scuttled the F/V Akutan last month with help from the U.S. Coast Guard, but they moved forward before collecting funds from the city. That’s left councilors debating whether they should chip in at all. The final vote was almost unanimous.

Councilor James Fitch was all for it.

“We are obligated to pay this because the job has already been done,” Fitch said.

Greta Mart/KUCB

Early and absentee voting starts Wednesday, Feb. 14 for Unalaska’s mayoral recall election.

Registered voters can cast their ballots at City Hall until March 5. The polls will be open week days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Unalaskans can also request to vote by mail, email, fax, or personal representative.

They can call the city clerk’s office at 581-1251 for more information.

Election Day is for March 6.



Last month, the state sunk an abandoned boat that has plagued western Alaska for months -- but it did so before securing a funding contribution from Unalaska. 

The City Council has debated whether to help pay for the F/V Akutan’s removal all year. Many councilors worry about setting a precedent that could encourage other mariners to abandon vessels near town. But others say the city needs to contribute because the Akutan posed environmental risks to the community.


Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska has selected a new city manager.

On Sunday, the City Council voted unanimously to offer the job to Thomas E. Thomas, who served most recently as city manager in Rock Island, Illinois.

He beat out three other finalists, including Assistant City Manager Erin Reinders.

“Our consulting firm brought us four wonderful candidates," said Councilor Roger Rowland. "This was not an easy decision.”