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Whittier city manager to interview for same position in Unalaska

unalaska city hall
Laura Kraegel

The City of Unalaska is arranging to interview a new candidate for the position of city manager — the third in the city’s search for a permanent hire.

On Thursday, the City Council voted 5-1 to fly out Jim Hunt — the current city manager of Whittier, Alaska — to interview for the job. It’s been open since the council chose not to renew Erin Reinders’ contract last spring.

Councilor Shari Coleman cast the sole dissenting vote Thursday.

According to Whittier city records, Hunt has served as city manager of the Southcentral community of about 270 residents since 2018, first in an interim role and later as a permanent hire.

City of Whittier
Jim Hunt — the city manager of Whittier, Alaska — is a candidate for the same position in Unalaska. The Unalaska City Council voted Thursday to fly Hunt to the island for an interview.

If he accepts the offer to visit the island, Hunt will be the third candidate to interview for the city manager position, following Unalaska Assistant City Manager and former planning director Bil Homka and former Ogdensburg, New York city manager Stephen Jellie.

Jellie later accepted a position in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is no longer in the running for the Unalaska job.

While the City Council continues working to fill the position, Chris Hladick is serving as interim city manager. He took up the post last summer.

Hladick previously served as Unalaska’s city manager from 2001 to 2015. He also served in the cabinet of former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, and he was appointed by the Trump administration to oversee the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
Related Content
  • The Unalaska City Council approved the contract for an interim city manager during a Special Council Meeting on Thursday. The city is actively recruiting to replace current manager Erin Reinders, whose contract expires at the end of the month. In the meantime, Chris Hladick will stand at the helm. He served as Unalaska's city manager from 2001 until he resigned in 2015.
  • The City of Unalaska has a candidate for city manager, nearly three months after Erin Reinders’s contract expired. Stephen Jellie is meeting with city officials and the community this week, and the Unalaska City Council plans to interview him for the position Friday.
  • 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.