Seward advances with new city manager candidate

The council voiced their unanimous support for Janette Bower on Monday



The City of Seward will move forward with Janette Bower as its next city manager following a unanimous indication of support by the Seward City Council at their Monday night meeting.

Bower currently serves as the city administrator, a position similar to that of a city manager, for the City of Wadena, in Minnesota and was one of three finalists the council identified from an initial pool of seven applicants. Bower attended Griffin Business College and has worked in local government for 20 years, 16 of which were in Alaska, including Palmer and Bethel. In both cities, Bower worked as the city clerk.

After being selected as the council’s finalist candidate, Bower was able to attend an in-person interview with the council last week following a negative COVID-19 test. In that interview, Bower said that the biggest challenges she expects to face if selected for the position include the city’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as the city prepares for another season with a loss of cruise ships.

“People are ready to get out and about and to get out of their community and go to another community,” Bower said. “What I’ve noticed in our area … coming from the towns next to us coming in and spending money in our community, and vice versa, and I believe that will happen here.”

Bower said her greatest weaknesses are math and her sense of direction and that her greatest strength is bringing people together to solve problems.

Seward Mayor Christy Terry emphasized how active Sewardites are in local government and in engaging in community discussions about civic issues like diversity and inclusion, and asked Bower what experience she had with similar issues. Bower said that her community is not very diverse but that they’ve been implementing changes made by the Minnesota legislature.

“I don’t see diversity, we’re all just people and we all need to come together to solve issues …” Bower said. “I do realize that sometimes it’s harder than that. I do understand that it’s harder than that and I respect that.”

During their deliberation of Bower on Monday, every member of the Seward City Council voiced their support for moving forward with her as their next city manager.

“I think we ended up with exactly who we should have and I’m excited about it,” said council member Liz DeMoss.

Bower is not likely to begin working at Seward for at least another month while contract negotiations are made. Bower also told the council that she has to give 30 days notice to the city council she currently works for at their next meeting.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

Photo provided by United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Chugachmiut Board Vice Chair Larry Evanoff from Chenega, Chair Fran Norman from Port Graham, and Director Arne Hatch from Qutekcak break ground for the Chugachmiut Regional Health Center in Seward, June 3. The occasion marked the start of construction of the $20 million facility. The 15,475-square-foot tribally owned and operated health clinic will serve as a regional hub providing medical, dental and behavioral health services for Alaskans in seven tribal communities.
Ground broken for new regional health center in Seward

The tribally owned and operated facility will serve as a regional hub providing medical, dental and behavioral health care

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Kasilof River personal use gillnet fishery closed

It’s the Kenai River optimal escapement goal, not a Kasilof River escapement goal, that is cited by the announcement as triggering the close

The Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is seen on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai cuts ties with out-of-state marketing firm

Council members expressed skepticism about the firm’s performance

A firefighter from Cooper Landing Emergency Services refills a water tanker at the banks of the Kenai River in Cooper Landing, Alaska on Aug. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Cooper Landing voters to consider emergency service area for region

The community is currently served by Cooper Landing Emergency Services

Hundreds gather for the first week of the Levitt AMP Soldotna Music Series on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna music series kicks off with crowds, colors and sunshine

A color run took off ahead of performances by Blackwater Railroad Company and BenJammin The Jammin Band

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Finance Director Liz Hayes, left, testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly during a budget work session on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly passes borough budget

The document fully funds borough schools and includes a decrease in property taxes

The George A. Navarre Kenai Peninsula Borough building. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Assembly shrinks borough planning commission

The planning commission is responsible for planning the “systemic development and betterment” of the borough

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Russian River Campground reopens for 2 summer months

Reservations for campsites can be made online

Kristin Lambert testifies in support of funding for the Soldotna Senior Center during an assembly meeting on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
After leadership change, borough funds Soldotna senior center

The Soldotna City Council in May voted to defund the center for the upcoming fiscal year

Most Read