Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speak at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speak at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai plans to hire new manager by end of month

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander announced he will not be renewing his contract with the city

The City of Kenai hopes to have a new city manager selected by the end of the month, according to a recruitment timeline considered by council members during their Wednesday night meeting.

A city subcommittee has led recruitment efforts following council approval last month, including drafting the job description. Following the election Wednesday of council member James Baisden as Kenai vice mayor, the employee subcommittee includes Baisden, Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and council member Henry Knackstedt.

Per the timeline described in the memo, the city solicited applications between Oct. 10 and Oct. 28. The council on Wednesday convened in executive session, a meeting closed to the public, to finalize interview questions and narrow down the candidate pool. The council will select its top candidates for interviews on Nov. 10, with the goal of selecting a candidate by Nov. 18, the timeline says.

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander, who has been with the city in that capacity since 2017, announced in late September that he will not be renewing his contract with the city. His current contract is set to expire on Jan. 9, 2023.

Gabriel said during Wednesday’s meeting that there are 14 applications for the city manager position before the city, all of which have been vetted and meet the city’s minimum qualifications. The subcommittee will narrow that pool down to five candidates, Gabriel said, and rank them for council consideration.

Wednesday’s Kenai City Council meeting can be streamed on the City of Kenai’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

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