The city’s new municipal attorney search is officially open.
The City and Borough Assembly met Thursday afternoon and decided that the search for a new attorney would go beyond City Hall staff and will also be open to outside candidates. After going into executive session, the Assembly decided that the job posting will go up shortly and applications will be due by close of business Aug. 6, according to City Manager Rorie Watt.
Assembly member Jesse Kiehl, who was initially in favor of a broader search for an attorney, said the Assembly’s decision was made so that any qualified candidate could be in contention for the position.
“We had a really good and in-depth conversation and in the end, the group decided that we wanted a broader applicant pool to make sure we consider all the possibilities,” Kiehl said in a phone interview with the Empire Thursday. “I think we have a whole lot of great attorneys in Juneau and I think we will be seeing applicants both internal and external.”
Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski said “casting a wider net” for candidates will only help the city’s search for a new attorney.
“We want to make sure we get the best possible candidate,” Gladziszewski said in a phone interview with the Empire Thursday. “It is a very important position and we are hoping there are people in Juneau who are interested and who are qualified.”
The discussion for a replacement began after current Municipal Attorney Amy Mead was named the state’s newest Juneau Superior Court judge on July 2. Mead has been Juneau’s municipal attorney since 2013.
The city manager and the municipal attorney are the only two high-level positions that report directly to the Assembly.
While applications are due by Aug. 6, Watt said there is still no exact timeline on when an attorney will be hired. The Assembly will need to evaluate candidates and then decide which direction it wants to take in the hiring process. Mead’s last day will fall sometime in mid-August, but an exact date has yet to be determined.
Kiehl said the Assembly hopes to make a decision on a new city attorney as quickly as it can.
“We will get cracking on narrowing the list and interviewing people,” Kiehl said. “We know Amy Mead is heading to the bench quickly and anybody who is interested in the job is ready to apply and were just waiting for the applications to open. I think we will be seeing a stack of applications.”
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at email@example.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.