Bethel officially has a new city manager and city attorney. Bethel City Council unanimously voted to accept contracts for City Manager Vincenzo “Vinny” Corazza, and City Attorney Elizabeth “Libby” Bakalar.
Both Corazza and Bakalar’s salaries start at $137,000. Corazza will receive a $20,000 bonus for relocating to Bethel, while Bakalar will work remotely from Juneau. Bakalar will begin work for the city Mar. 16, while Corazza will make the move to Bethel and start work Apr. 6.
Another change Bethel residents may see is an online sales tax by April. City Council introduced a tax code ordinance that will allow the city to start collecting online sales tax. If the tax code passes in the next council meeting, City Clerk Lori Strickler says that there will be a 30 day implementation period. After that, Bethel residents will start paying the same 6 percent sales tax online that they pay in the city. The same exceptions would also apply, like exemptions for Elders.
Bethel City Council also directed city administration to apply for a grant that would pay for a police officer position at Bethel Regional High School. Acting City Manager Bill Howell said that this position was something the city has had in the past, and urged council to try to fill it again. He said that the officer could be used elsewhere in the community when school is not in session.
To round out the meeting, council introduced a number of ordinances that Strickler described as cleaning up unused sections of the Bethel Municipal Code, and simplifying the appeal process for decisions that the city makes.
An earlier version of this story stated that Vincenzo "Vinny" Corazza would start work as the new city manager Apr. 9. His actual start date is Apr. 6.