Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 3:44 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Does Homer need this position?

Are we the only ones in Homer who were surprised to see a newly formed position with the city advertised in last week's paper? Apparently, even though there's a hiring freeze in most departments, someone has seen fit to add to the city manager's cadre a community and economic development coordinator.

This is no entry-level or assistant-type position, but one that promises $60,404+ (depending on experience) with an attractive benefit package. We looked in the personnel directory and saw there are 12 vacant openings, only four of which are part-time.

Why is this new executive position being filled when we are short a dispatcher, an assistant fire chief, four Public Works department employees, an equipment operator and a port maintenance technician? We can only assume this was approved by the Homer City Council which makes us wonder what they were thinking.

Homer is a teeny tiny hamlet by the sea by anyone's calculations, so what is the justification for this new career opportunity when our finances are supposedly struggling? And honestly, does a city of barely 5,000 residents really need more than a hundred public employees? Maybe it's time to not only look at the number of employees but also their attractive benefit packages.

Patti and Brendan Boily