The Kodiak Island Borough remains without a permanent manager today after the assembly failed to approve the contract with Michael Powers. The vote, taken by a short-handed, five-person assembly will be brought back up for reconsideration before the full seven-person assembly at April 21st meeting.
That’s because, after counting votes during the 45-minute debate, Assemblymen Frank Peterson and Larry LeDoux said they would change their votes to be on the prevailing side and request the revote if need be.
LeDoux, along with Kyle Crow and Frank Peterson voted for Powers as manager.
Assemblymen Mel Stephens and Dennis Symmons voted against.
Because the “yes” votes did not reach four, the motion failed. Missing were assembly members Rebecca Skinner and Dan Roher.
Last week, Stephens took out a page-and-a-half ad in the Kodiak Daily Mirror to argue against the hiring of Powers. Crow said he followed up on the accusations his colleague made.
“What I found in the negatives was people who had axes to grind,” Crow said. “I think that any good manager is going to have some controversy. It’s the nature of the beast for that position. It’s a political position. He’s in the storm, and there’s goinmg to be negatives. Frankly I would be very hesitant to look at a candidate who did not have some controversy in his past.”
Crow also responded to public comments, which he figured were prompted by the Stephens ad.
“You talk about public perceptions. The public perception has been slanted, in my opinion, by a $2,000 approximately newspaper ad that I certainly could not afford to state my positions on this,” Crow said. “Many of us on the assembly would not do such a thing because we respect. I respect Mel’s passionate concern for the community. I think the rest of us, I don’t see any person sitting on this assembly that is not passionately concerned about this community.”
Assemblyman Symmons shared his opinions on the ad and his planned vote as well:
“I did not approve of the ad in the paper. I think it undermined democracy itself. That’s another subject,” Symmons said. “I will be voting no; I think we can do better.”
A reconsideration vote can be requested by an assembly member on the winning side within a certain amount of time after a vote. Borough Clerk Nova Javier said Peterson requested the reconsideration vote and it was seconded by Crow.