After an eight-month search for a new borough manager, the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly unanimously chose current Borough Mayor Aimee Williams to take the reins after assembly members voted at a special meeting Monday night.
It’s been a tumultuous journey to find a new borough manager. The previous manager was fired last summer, and her predecessor was fired in the fall 2021. That’s left borough staff without consistent leadership for about 18 months.
Aimee Williams began her term as borough mayor just last year. But amid struggles to fill the borough manager position, the assembly voted at a special meeting Monday that Williams was best suited for the job.
“I think it’s going to be a big challenge and I know I have a lot to learn, but it’s pretty amazing when people have faith in you and show you that they’re willing to work with you,” she said.
The role of Kodiak Island Borough mayor has strict limits on what they’re able to do, and relegates more hands-on decisions to the borough’s manager instead.
Williams says the transition to manager will allow her to provide stronger and more consistent leadership to communities across the archipelago.
“As the manager, the entire staff will be working for me,” she said. “So, that’s going to be quite a big change, getting to know all those folks and understanding what their needs are and how we can serve them best.”
But Williams leaving her current position means the borough will be without an elected mayor. The assembly will need to appoint an interim mayor in her place until the next municipal election in October.
“They will advertise for people who are interested and then they will come in and the assembly will actually appoint a mayor until the next election when the community can reelect for the next three year cycle,” she said.
The new job also means Williams will step down from her current full-time position as executive director of Discover Kodiak. She says she’ll miss her job, but she’s looking forward to serving the community in a different way.
“I’m hoping that I can help be a part of more changes that affect more people across the archipelago,” she said. “I’m very interested in being involved with our villages and making connections with people who live everywhere on the island and not just on the road system, so I really look forward to visiting some of those places and building relationships with those folks.”
If the assembly approves, she says she will continue her job at Discover Kodiak and as borough mayor through April. Williams will begin as borough manager on May 1.