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Council Sets Mayoral Recall Election For March 6

Laura Kraegel


The recall election of Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty is set for March 6th.

A recall petition signed by 172 community members seeks to remove him due to allegations of misconduct in office – specifically attempting to sole-source land use agreements for the Unalaska Marine Center positions 5-7. Kelty has repeatedly denied any wrong doing.

The petition effort was led by nine sponsors including Ryan Burke, Erin Enlow, Jeff Treannie, Clint Huling, Robert Marquardt, AlenaSyverson, Christina Chamberlain, Jason Gates, and Amanda Gates.

Kelty has said he does not plan to appeal the recall effort, but if he changes his mind. He has until Jan. 25 to file an appeal with Alaska Superior Court.

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the council also approved a contract extension with interim City Manager Nancy Peterson. Now she will stay on through Feb. 16.

Peterson informed the council that as of Jan. 4, there have been 13 more applications for the city manager position and one of those may be someone the council wants to add to their pool of qualified candidates.

Early last month, the council decided to hold off on their original timeline for hiring a City Manager because of lack of a good pool of applicants.

At that time, the pool had dwindled from eight qualified applicants to three.  The council plans to do an initial round of interviews the first week in February.

The city will also be in the market for a new Director of Public Safety. Peterson announced that at the end of the month, Mike Holman will be stepping down from his post after being on staff for 23 years. Senior Fire Captain Mike Hanson is filling in as interim fire chief until that post is filled. The former Fire Chief Arlie Colvin resigned late last month.

Peterson has said filling this role is “a top priority” and the city will be accepting applications for the fire chief position until Feb. 6.

The city council also appointed Dennis Robinson as the inaugural vice mayor. The vice mayor steps into the role of mayor should the office become vacant or if the mayor is absent. Robinson will hold the post until the next regular election.

Zoë Sobel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2019. She returned to KUCB after a year living in Nepal and Malaysia as a Luce Scholar. She then returned to KUCB as a ProPublica reporter August of 2020 through August of 2021.
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