Congratulations to the Winners of the 2016 Alaska Municipal League Awards!

Vic Fischer Local Gov’t Award

Tim Navarre, Council Member, City of Kenai

In recognition of Tim Navarre’s tireless dedication to the State of Alaska, local governments, and Alaskans, it is with pleasure that we nominate Tim Navarre for the prestigious Vic Fischer Local Government Leadership Award. Tim presently serves, or has served on the following public and volunteer organizations:

AML Board of Directors – Kenai Peninsula Borough, Chief of Staff
Kenai Industry Appreciation, Chair – Kenai Chamber of Commerce
Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Kenai – Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Northwest
Kenai River Classic – Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP)
United Way – Catholic Church
Knights of Columbus – Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly
Kenai City Council – National Association of Counties (NACo)
Central Peninsula Hospital

The above is not a complete listing as it’s difficult to develop a complete resume’ without the nominee’s assistance. And while the above listing is impressive, it is only a part of what qualifies Tim as a nominee for this award.
When Tim sees a need, he takes action. He is involved in local governments as a resource to individuals and organizations. He works with the Governor, the Administration, and Legislature on issues that affect local governments throughout the State. Last year he was instrumental in representing local government interests on proposed PERS, and Municipal Revenue sharing legislation. Tim Navarre is the type of person who never boasts or brags about his contributions or personal sacrifices. He is ceaseless in his efforts to assist seniors, and has recently undertaken the responsibilities of a foster parent to a 5 year-old boy. Our local community and communities throughout Alaska, have been positively affected by the actions, dedication, and compassion, exhibited by Tim Navarre.

Nominated By:

John Williams, Kenai City Mayor (1986-2004)
Patricia Porter, Kenai City Mayor (2004-2016)
Brian Gabriel, Kenai City Mayor-Elect
Rick Koch, Kenai City Manager (2006-Present)

Municipal Employee of the Year

Marilyn Swan, Clerk Clerk, City of Kivalina

When the new Administration took over in the City of Kivalina, they found themselves facing a $325,000 IRS debt.

As an employee of a municipality in that situation, the choices for resolution of the problem are very few and far between:

  • Take a job ANYWHERE else but there
  • Change your name and leave town
  • Think of some crazy argument to give the IRS
  • Figure out how to pay the dang thing

The last choice is exactly what City Clerk Marilyn Swan selected.  From 2008 through 2015, Marilyn successfully and faithfully sent $1,000 to the IRS and paid the entire debt off.  She has helped the City operate in the black ever since the new administration took office, as well as keeping vigilant watch on utilities payments, gaming activities and payroll.

Her council says she is “able to cut corners where corners have already been cut.”  Marilyn is one of only 2 office personnel in Kivalina.  She oversees 6 departments, not all of which have any incoming revenues.  Yet, she keeps them all humming and makes sure that the City stays within its funding limits.  Plus, she only works half days.

She often works without getting paid until revenues come it that can enable her to get a check. Marilyn serves as the accountant; substitute administrator; payroll clerk; bingo clerk; water plant clerk; rental property clerk; police department clerk; and heavy equipment clerk.  She also dispatches for the police and helps to oversee police situations until the troopers arrive.

Municipal Official of the Year

Lucy S. Adams, Council Member, City of Kivalina

It is often difficult to run a small municipality under the best of times.  But when things go “south,” it is extremely difficult.  That is when “heroes” emerge that continue to serve, are dedicated to their community, and stick with their commitments to see things put right, once again.

The City of Kivalina found itself with thousands and thousands of dollars in IRS debt.  Council member Lucy S. Adams promised the community she would continue to serve her seat on the Kivalina City Council until the debt was resolved.  At 83 years old, that is a BIG commitment!

Lucy did just that.  She supported and stuck with the new administration during some very difficult years and helped to correct the actions that got Kivalina in trouble in the first place.  Lucy might teach our Legislators a thing or two!

Lucy continues to serve as Vice-Mayor.  Lucy is not hesitant to speak out at City Council meetings when the wellness and safety of the community is concerned.  She is attempting to help in the relocation efforts currently underway in Kivalina.

If ever there was a more dedicated person than Lucy, many Kivalina residents have not yet encountered that person.

Lucy has served on the Kivalina City Council for over 16 years.  I am proud to present to Lucy S. Adams, the Alaska Municipal League Elected Municipal Official of the Year Award.

 Community Award (Public Safety): ALICE – City of Valdez

ALICE stands for Alert! Lockdown! Inform! Counter! And Evacuate!

The Valdez Police Department has developed and implemented a community-wide initiative with local schools, businesses, corporations, the city government and non-profit organizations to address the societal problems of active shooter events.

In 2014, the Valdez Police Department invited a “Train the Trainer” representative from ATI (ALICE Training Institute) to Valdez, open to all law enforcement and school district administrators from across the state.

Valdez began to immediately utilize the strategies taught through the ALICE training program.  The Valdez City Schools endorsed the program and training is now a requirement of all staff, teachers and administrators.

The Valdez Police Department has also engaged in community-wide outreach and training.  A new video was developed for businesses and organizations.  As a result, the Valdez Police Department has trained close to 20 businesses and/or organizations in the Valdez area.

Training continues and in 2016, discussions began with the University of Alaska to offer the ALICE training course as continual education courses, eligible for college credit.

Please help me acknowledge the fine work done by the Valdez Police Department and the City of Valdez’ ALICE Training Program, resulting in an Alaska Municipal League Community Award of Excellence.

Community Award (City Spirit): SPARC – City of Homer

SPARC stands for South Peninsula Athletic & Recreation Center.

As many of us live in a world of rain, we can certainly relate to this issue.  Daniel Zatz, of Homer, was at the “breaking point” with regards to his 11-year old son and the impact of constant rain affecting his son’s exercise.

So, Daniel led the charge and saw the breaking of ground, last month, for the 159’ by 75’ fabric building near Homer Middle School that will serve as an indoor sports center.

Warmer winters have provided more rain to Homer, but ruined skiing and ice skating.

This center will provide a place to run and kick balls, as well as a safe track for senior citizens to walk.  The building is called the South Peninsula Athletic & Recreation Center or SPARC.  It will be open to all for a $3.00 fee.

This whole initiative was driven by Daniel Zatz.  His cell phone number is on the brochure; he oversaw the raising of $500,000, plus his personal donation of $115,000 and full-time effort to the project.

Daniel said his inspiration came as he sat with his son reading WWII books and realized that he (Daniel) had never done anything like the men and women he was reading about.  He decided to invest a year of his life in helping his community.

He certainly has done himself and his community proud.  I would like to present the Alaska Municipal League Community Award of Excellence to Daniel Zatz, SPARC and the City of Homer.

Community Award (Public Works): Pier III Replacement Project – City of Kodiak

The City of Kodiak is in the midst of replacing Pier III within their harbor.  The need for electrical improvements has been identified as a need within this project.

Horizon Lines of Alaska, LLC has confirmed that they will be installing a 100-gauge AC-powered crane, which will draw a nominal 1.5 to 2.0 megawatts of electrical power.  This amount of demand would represent 5 – 10% of the power supply available from Kodiak Electric Association.   As per an agreement drawn up by the City of Kodiak, Kodiak Electric Association and Horizon Lines of Alaska, LLC, a collaborative effort will see the installation of a complete electrical improvement package for the Pier III project.

·       This collaboration would improve reliable service to Pier III;
·       Increase reliability of service to other city taxpayers;
·       Increase buffering capacity of the flywheel system;
·       Provide city with the benefit of the latest generation in crane technology;
·       Provide city with benefits of reduced diesel emission;
·       Improve electrical service through less downtime of the network;
·       The new crane eliminates the failure potential of the existing 45-year-old crane due to lack of replacement parts;
·       Participation by KEA and Horizon, with the City, greatly reduce and allow the public to recover costs.

This Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Kodiak, Horizon Lines of Alaska, LLC, and Kodiak Electric Association towards a collaboration on electrical needs wins the City of Kodiak a Community Award of Excellence Award.