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Bethel City Council to vote on confirming new candidate for Bethel Chief of Police

bethel_city_council.png
Christine Trudeau
/
KYUK

Bethel City council is holding its first meeting of the month on Sept. 13. The council will consider confirming a new police chief and discuss a pay-what-you-can plan for the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Fitness center.

If the council votes to confirm the new candidate for chief of police, the city will finally fill a position that has been vacant since April. That candidate is Leonard Hicks. Hicks previously worked as a lieutenant with a police department in Alabama and has been in law enforcement for 20 years; he has never worked in Alaska. After a five month candidate review process, Bethel City Manager Pete Williams and interim police chief Jesse Poole have recommended Hicks for the position. Hicks recently spent five days in town and has already been given a conditional offer of employment, pending city council approval.

Also on the agenda is a proposal that would establish a pay-what-you-can program for the Y-K Fitness center. The ordinance, which was first introduced in August, would allow families to receive up to a 75% discount, depending on their income. If the council approves the program, families or individuals could apply for the discount when setting up their membership. Fitness center users will not be asked to produce income records to take advantage of reduced rates.

In a separate ordinance, the council will also vote on a $40,000 program that would provide free memberships to the fitness center to city employees.

The city council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will air live on KYUK 640 AM. If you’d like to speak at the meeting, you can join online or attend in person.

Will McCarthy is a temporary news reporter at KYUK. Previously, he worked as a furniture mover, producer, and freelance journalist. Will's written for the New York Times, National Geographic, and Texas Monthly. He holds a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley.