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Local government news from the KUCB Newsroom.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

Since December 1975, the City of Unalaska has had one constant employee.

“I may be having an identity crisis next week, but right now my name is AB Rankin. I've been the City Treasurer for the City of Unalaska for 40 years and that's all I've done since I was 26.”

And today, she retires. AB grew up in Unalaska, but when it was time for high school she had to leave the island. The U.S. government had three schools they would send Alaska Native kids to including Mount Edgecumbe in Sitka. But she did not want to go there.

Chrissy Roes/KUCB

The City of Unalaska’s newest city councilor is John Waldron. He was unanimously appointed to fill the vacant seat, left by Zoya Johnson, in a special session on Saturday afternoon.

Waldron first came to Unalaska in 1987 to work as a private contractor. In 2005, he and his family moved to Unalaska, so he could serve as a police officer. He says the decision was "easy" because of the reputation of the Unalaska City School District. Since then, two of Waldron’s three children have graduated from the high school. Now, Waldron works for the school and Aleutian Electric.

Chrissy Roes/KUCB

The council approved a more than $29 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but not until they removed a $13,000 capital grant designated for the Unalaska Divers Association or UDA.

The organization asked for funds to cover four sets of dive gear with the goal of increasing community access and participation in the pricey activity.

Without the money from city council, anyone interested in trying out scuba diving must front $6,000 dollars for their own gear.

Unalaska's Fire Chief Resigns

May 17, 2016
City of Unalaska

  Unalaska Fire Chief Zac Schasteen resigned this week from his job leading the city's fire and emergency response department.

In a press release issued Tuesday evening, Department of Public Safety Director Mike Holman announced Schasteen's unexpected resignation, saying that it was effective immediately.

In the release, Holman says he makes the announcement with "some regret."

Council Hears Property Owner Assessment Appeals

May 10, 2016
Chrissy Roes

This week's city council meeting is a two-for-one; first the council will meet as the city's board of equalization to hear annual appeals of property assessments.

City Clerk Cat Hazen said the city received six appeals this year. One has already been settled, and as of Tuesday afternoon, the city's contracted assessor was meeting with the owner of four of the appeal properties. Hazen said she expects tonight's board of equalization meeting to cover at least one appeal.