FINANCE

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The City of Unalaska is aiming to hire a permanent police chief by the end of February.

That would be more than two years since the retirement of Mike Holman, the last full-time chief.

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

For the fifth time in five years, Unalaska is looking to hire a new fire chief.

Ramona Thompson was fired in early October after about a year and a half leading the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Due to the fatal plane crash that month and Thompson's travel schedule, KUCB couldn't reach her for an interview until this week.

"Our current city manager pretty much said that she had determined that it was in the best interest of the community and the organization to terminate me without cause, and that's why I'm not working there anymore," she said.

Dave Gregory and Darin Nicholson

Voters asked City Council hopefuls Darin Nicholson and Dave Gregory about Unalaska's housing, budget, and more during last week's Candidates Forum.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska needs to be ready to fight for state funding in fiscal year 2021.

City lobbyist Dianne Blumer delivered that message Tuesday to the City Council.

She said she expects Gov. Mike Dunleavy to continue pushing for steep budget cuts to education, health care, and other state services that are critical to the community.

"It's not a promising picture," said Blumer. "I hate to be the gloom and doom here, but I anticipate the cuts that didn't happen this year are going to be taken up again for next session."

Berett Wilber/KUCB

More than $2.3 million has been returned to the City of Unalaska, after a federal investigation into financial fraud targeting the local government.

Between May 15 and July 9, the city paid $2,985,406.10 to a fraudulent bank account as a result of a phishing email scam. City Manager Erin Reinders said the email sender represented themselves as a known vendor and requested a change in payment method.

When city officials realized the mistake in July, she said they notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the city's attorney and insurance company. 

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