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Bethel City Council Approves Ciullkulek Subdivision And Looks For Answers After Firing Pete Williams

May 15, 2019

Bethel City Council approves Ciullkulek Subdivision and looks for solutions after firing City Manager Pete Williams.
Credit Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Bethel City Council had a busy night. Among other things, it signed off on its roads plan and approved ONC's Ciullkulek Subdivision.  

The vote on the subdivision was unanimous. ONC has plans for 38 homes and a senior center near the post office, and has touted the project as new affordable housing in Bethel. The roads plan seeks more than a million dollars in federal funding under the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and would require a $175,000 city match.

The council also approved contracting with an executive search firm to find a city manager, and it heard from its insurance firm. Barbara Thurston of  Alaska Public Entity Insurance told them that the company would not be required to pay a claim if the city were sued for firing former City Manager Pete Williams because the council did not consult an attorney. Thurston did offer to pay for an hour of legal consultation on the matter.   

Council member Leif Albertson tried to introduce a new ordinance that would limit spending done by council members. Specifically, spending done while traveling for city-related work. However, other council members, like Vice-Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams, asked "why now?" Williams expressed concerns that this could stifle council member travel to represent Bethel’s interests in Juneau or Washington D.C. Ultimately, the ordinance failed 4 to 3.