Soldotna City Council members interview city manager applicant Elke Doom (on screen) during a special city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Council members interview city manager applicant Elke Doom (on screen) during a special city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Doom, Bower named finalists for Soldotna manager gig

The two will visit Soldotna for in-person meetings on Feb. 7 and 13, respectively

The Soldotna City Council is moving forward with candidates Janette Bower and Elke Doom for the position of city manager following a round of interviews on Monday and vote on Friday. Both were identified from a total applicant pool of 17.

Bower currently serves as the city manager of Seward, while Doom is the interim township manager of Michigan’s Royal Oak Township. The council on Monday interviewed four finalists for the position, which also included Gregg Brelsford and Alan Lanning.

Bower joined the city of Seward in 2021 from Wadena, Minnesota, where she served as city administrator. She holds a high school diploma from Magic City High School.

Doom holds a master’s degree in public administration from Siena Heights University. Since January of 2022, she has served as the interim township manager of Royal Oak Township in Michigan. Doom also emerged as a finalist candidate with the City of Kenai, which recruited for a city manager position late last year.

Whoever becomes Soldotna’s next city manager will take over for Stephanie Queen, who has held the position since 2018 and previously served as the city’s director of economic development and planning.

Soldotna Vice Mayor Lisa Parker thanked all candidates who applied for the position during Friday’s special council meeting.

“I’m very thankful for all of the applicants who submitted their resume,” Parker said. “We got an outstanding number of resumes that were submitted for this position and I’m very thankful that we have two very well qualified candidates that will continue to advance and move forward.”

Per a Friday press release from the City of Soldotna, Bower and Doom will visit Soldotna for in-person meetings on Feb. 7 and 13, respectively. Meet and greet events with the candidates will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Soldotna City Council Chambers on the day each candidate is in Soldotna.

“Ms. Bower and Ms. Doom are both highly qualified and we look forward to a very productive and informative visit with them,” Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney is quoted as saying in the release.

More information about the public reception events to be held later this month can be found on the city’s website at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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