City Public Works and Engineering Director Katie Koester is moving up to take the top spot at the City and Borough of Juneau after she was selected to be the next city manager following the retirement of Rorie Watt this fall.
Koester was unanimously appointed by the Assembly during a special meeting Wednesday evening and is set to step into the role this September. Koester’s salary will be $210,000.
Before her time with CBJ, Koester previously served as the Homer City Manager for five years before she was hired by CBJ for her current role in late 2019. Following her selection, the city will now begin its recruitment process to fill her current role.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be able to serve my community in this matter,” Koester said after the meeting. “I’m very much looking forward to being able to lead such a competent team.”
During the “rigorous” nationwide soliciting process conducted in June for the next manager, the Manager Recruitment Committee reported more than 10 applicants expressed interest in the role. The process began following Watt’s announcement in April of his planned departure after serving in the role since 2016.
“We got candidates from all over the country,” said Assembly member Christine Woll about the months-long process. “It became quite clear we had an amazing candidate in Ms. Koester — and someone who has been a city manager in Alaska before.”
Watt agreed, and after the meeting said he’s confident both is Koester’s abilities and professionalism to take on the position.
“I look forward to watching Katie doing the job in her style, watching CBJ continuing to evolve under her leadership to meet the needs of the day.”
Koester said she is excited to take on the new role and “carry out the wishes of the Assembly.”
“I am deeply committed to this community — it is a wonderful place — and I look forward to hearing from the community and learning more about Juneau, and more about all the different community members that make it up,” she said.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at email@example.com or (651)-528-1807.