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Unalaska City Council will not renew City Manager Erin Reinders’ contract

ErinReinders.jpg
Greta Mart
/
KUCB
Erin Reinders has worked for the city since 2011 and was promoted to the city manager position in 2019. She said she doesn’t know what’s next for her or the city. The next three months will be time to finish old business, she said, and meditate on three busy years.

Unalaska’s city manager will leave her post in less than three months, when her three-year contract with the city comes to an end on May 31.

City Manager Erin Reinders sent an email Wednesday afternoon to city staff announcing her departure. Reinders said she was notified Tuesday morning that the Unalaska City Council would not be renewing her contract for another term.

“I haven't been given reasons why,” she told KUCB Thursday. “But the fact is, it's the end of a contract. I've served my term, and it's the council's decision on how they want to move forward and who they want to have in that spot. And, obviously, they want to move in a different direction.”

The city manager is the City Council’s only employee.

Vice Mayor Dennis Robinson — who described himself as one of Reinders’ biggest supporters, and as such, also one of her biggest critics — couldn’t expand on why council members decided not to renew Reinders’ contract, since the discussion took place in executive session Monday night.

He did say that the decision had to be unanimous among the four councilors present at the meeting if they were to renew her contract, according to city code.

“With only four members present and two out of town, the bottom line is, if one person objected, then it wouldn't move forward. So that's what we were faced with,” he said.

Reinders has worked for the city since 2011. She was promoted to the city manager position on June 1, 2019 with a starting salary of $172,500.

She said she doesn’t know what’s next for her or the city. The next three months will be time to finish old business, she said, and meditate on three busy years characterized by a pandemic, multiple plane crashes and a significant stretch without any commercial flight service to Unalaska at all.

“It has been some of the most important work I've ever had the opportunity to do," Reinders said. "I think we've proven to be successful, and it's really because of the partnerships and the hard work of all the folks at the city and in different organizations really coming together and making it work. I mean, I think that's what we do best.”

The City Council is expected to discuss filling Reinders’ position at its next meeting on March 22.

Hope McKenney reported for KUCB from 2019 until 2022. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2021.
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