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Kenai offers city manager job to finance director

City of Kenai _ Poux
Sabine Poux
Current City Manager Paul Ostrander is leaving his position in January.

The City of Kenai has successfully negotiated a contract with one of its employees for the city’s top job.

Terry Eubank is on his way to becoming Kenai’s next city manager, pending a final contract with the city and a thumbs-up from the Kenai City Council. Eubank would be an internal hire — he’s been finance director at the city since 2008.

Mayor Brian Gabriel said the council is excited about the experience Eubank already has in Kenai.

“He’s intimately familiar with our operations, clearly intimate with our budget and the budget process that we go through every year,” Gabriel said. “So with this institutional knowledge of what we have at the city, that’s going to be a big help for him.”

Eubank would fill the position when current city manager Paul Ostrander leaves the post come January.

Ostrander said earlier this fall he would not be renewing his contract when it expires early on Jan. 9, 2023. He has been in the role since 2017 and renewed his contract once, in 2020.

The city started looking for a successor in October and got 14 applicants. The city council interviewed four of them — among them, Anton Graff, a city administrator based in the midwest, Elke Doom, the former city manager of Valdez, and David Ross, Kenai’s police chief.

Gabriel said the city initially offered the job to Ross, but that they weren't quite able to agree on the terms of a contract earlier this month.

But last night, the city did reach an agreement with Eubank. Gabriel said the details of the contract aren’t public yet, since the city’s still working on putting a final document together.

One of the things we’re really pushing for was to get whoever the successful candidate was, to get them on board to have a transition with our current city manager,” Gabriel said. “And it’s important that we have a good transition so that there’s a smooth handoff."

Eubank is a graduate of Kenai Central High School and the University of Alaska Anchorage. He’s been finance director at the city for almost 15 years where he was making over $146,000 a year, according to the resume he submitted to the city. In that role, Eubank supervises six other city employees and has served as acting city manager when Ostrander was absent.

Before that, Eubank was a controller at the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Now that Eubank and the city have come to a conditional agreement, the city will do a background check and the city attorney will finalize a contract for approval. Then, the city council will take a vote on the hire. City Clerk Shellie Saner said she’s not yet sure at which meeting that vote will take place. The next Kenai City Council meeting is Dec. 21.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at
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