The Juneau Assembly on Monday named longtime city staffer Donna Pierce to be acting city manager.
Pierce, who is deputy city manager, will replace Interim City Manager John MacKinnon. Pierce was Juneau's deputy city manager for 11 years before resigning last summer. She returned to the job in January.
MacKinnon, a former Assembly member, is leaving at the end of the week to take a job at the state Department of Transportation. Gov. Frank Murkowski named him deputy commissioner for highways and public facilities last week.
Pierce will be in charge of selecting a deputy manager and Assembly members said it is likely former City Manager Dave Palmer would fill the slot. Pierce said Palmer would be willing to come back to work through mid-May. The budget and tourism issues will need attention in the next couple of months, she said.
"There's just a lot more going on now than there had been in the fall," she said. "March is when the manager is putting the budget together."
The Assembly is discussing compensation for Pierce, which likely will come in the form of leave, Mayor Sally Smith said. Pierce said she doesn't have any leave at the moment. Her salary is $109,700 a year.
Deputy Mayor Ken Koelsch said appointing Pierce as acting manager would make for an easier transition.
"It will look like we're continuing to make progress rather than going back to square one," he said.
Meanwhile, an Assembly search committee will meet Wednesday to review applications for permanent city manager. The goal is to select four or six finalists, Smith said.
Interviews with the top candidates are scheduled March 17 and 18. The Assembly hopes to have a new city manager in place by May, Smith said.
Palmer and Pierce left City Hall in July. Pierce said she isn't interested in the permanent city manager job.
Joanna Markell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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