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Nome Is in Third Attempt to Find a New City Manager

Double doors with a small placard reading "Council Chambers."

It’s been ten months since Nome’s former City Manager, Tom Moran, offered his resignation to the City Council. In the meantime, the application period for City Manager has been closed and re-opened three times while the City seeks to fill that position permanently.

According to the latest job posting, now the application period lasts until July 19. Interim City Manager John Handeland says the City Manager opening has been posted in several places.

“There are some advertisements seeking additional applications from the City Managers Association and then further discussion and determination will be (made)… as I understand it.”

City Clerk Bryant Hammond confirms the position has been advertised in the Seattle Times, with the Alaska Municipal League (AML), and the International City Managers Association (ICMA), as well as elsewhere.

The purpose of reopening the application period, Hammond says, is to broaden the search and have a larger pool of candidates to choose from. Multiple people have applied to be the next Nome City Manager — the City was unable to share exactly how many — but Handeland confirms he has submitted his own application for the position.

According to Hammond, the process or time frame for Handeland to transfer his title and responsibilities as both the Interim City Manager and utilities manager for Nome Joint Utility System has not been discussed at this time. 

Handeland has retained both positions since his appointment as Interim City Manager in October of 2018.

Nome resident Sandra Medearis weighed in on the lack of progress made in the search for a permanent City Manager during a regular City Council meeting last month.

“While it doesn’t sound like a broken record, it’s like a broken record that doesn’t have any sound.”

As the application period remains open until July 19, Handeland will continue to serve the City of Nome as Interim City Manager and the manager of NJUS.

Image at top: the entrance to the Nome City Council chambers. Photo: Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM file.

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