At last week’s regular meeting, the Soldotna City Council made a fundamental change to how city hall and the Soldotna city government is structured. The council moved oversight of the city clerk from the city manager to the city council.
As Councilwoman Linda Murphy, a one-time Alaska Clerk of the Year herself, explains, a city Soldotna’s size should be structured in this manner.
“A system with the clerk reporting to the governing body is common within the state. And in Alaska, Soldotna qualifies as a larger community," she said. "And it is common in the U.S. except in those areas where the clerk is an elected official.”
Murphy explained that the change keeps the clerk and the city manager positions separate so they can concentrate on their different missions.
“They’re hired to do two different things. The manager is hired to carry out policy set by the council, and council sets policy through the budget process. The clerk is concerned with process. Making sure all processes are followed and many of the, in fact most of the duties are performed by the clerk are related to the administration, but are not necessarily administrative duties," Murphy said. "And for that reason, I hope you join me in supporting this ordinance.”
And that is what her fellow council members did, passing the ordinance 6-to-0.
Also in the ordinance was the creation of the position of Deputy City Clerk. The job description and pay range will be written later.
The next regular city council meeting is February 14.