Bethel is now much closer to filling the top positions in the city’s administration. Last night, the city council interviewed two candidates for two positions and unanimously voted to offer contracts to both of them. This decision came after in-person interviews with Vincenzo “Vinny” Corazza for city manager, and Elizabeth “Libby” Bakalar for city attorney.
Corazza currently works as the city engineer for Temple Terrace, Florida. He has also served a year as city administrator for the North Slope village of Nuiqsut.
“He has got some breadth of experience that we’ve never seen in a city manager candidate before,” said council member Mark Springer, who made the motion to offer him a contract.
Springer noted that Corazza was a trained mechanical engineer, and that he had both project management experience and rural Alaska experience.
Bakalar served 12 years as an attorney in the Alaska Dept. of Law, where she became a senior assistant attorney general.
“I think probably the best candidate we’ll ever get, with the most experience and a wide variety of experience,” said council member Alyssa Leary.
Leary said that the only drawback on Bakalar was the fact that she would not live in Bethel and would work remotely.
City Clerk Lori Strickler says that council’s decision to offer Corazza and Bakalar contracts only begins the negotiation process. The salary that they will be offered is not yet publicly disclosed, and the day that they would start has not been agreed upon.