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With Hladick done as interim city manager, Homka will act as Unalaska’s chief administrator

Berett Wilber

Interim City Manager Hladick ends his tenure Friday, 10 months after stepping in as Unalaska’s chief administrator.

The City Council didn’t renew the previous city manager’s contract when it expired last May, and hired Hladick to helm the ship until a permanent replacement was found.

Now, Hladick is leaving before that replacement’s been hired, and Assistant City Manager Bil Homka will serve as acting city manager while the hiring process continues.

Mayor Vince Tutiakoff Sr. said Hladick resigned for personal reasons, but didn’t share specifics.

“I really can’t get into that, but we do understand,” Tutiakoff said after the City Council’s Tuesday meeting. “And Bil has been gracious enough to be the acting city manager all the times [that Hladick] has been off-island. He has a lot of experience working with the Planning Department for all these years. He knows the people, knows the community. He knows what’s the best interest of this community.”

Homka, a former city planning director, interviewed for the permanent city manager job in August and was later hired as assistant city manager.

At the council meeting, Homka said he was grateful to have worked with Hladick.

“At this age, to have learned so much from somebody in such a short period of time — it’s kind of exciting to know that opportunity is still out there,” Homka told councilors. “I really thank all of you for hiring him — and Mr. Hladick for the work that he has helped steer me in the right direction around here.”

Next month, the council is scheduled to interview another candidate for the permanent job: Jim Hunt, the current city manager of Whittier, Alaska. Hunt comes “highly recommended” by Hladick, according to Tutiakoff.

Tutiakoff hinted that hiring Hunt as Unalaska’s city manager now could help prepare Homka to take over the role later.

“We believe that Bil can do the job, but he needs some years of training — working as a city manager with another city manager,” said Tutiakoff. “So we’re hoping in a couple three years, he may be in a position to take the job.”

Tutiakoff said it’s very important that Unalaska pins down a permanent city manager.

Hunt is scheduled visit the island April 12-14.

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.
Theo Greenly reports from the Aleutians as a Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio at KCRW in Santa Monica, California, and has produced radio stories and podcasts for stations around the country.
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