KYUK AM

Politics

Stories about politics.

Katie Basile / KYUK

On May 26, the Bethel City Council reinstated the COVID-19 emergency after the first declaration of emergency expired two days earlier. The new declaration has some changes which limit the authority of the city manager, specifically his authority to change cab fares. The city council also set the stage for a potential "by-mail" election this October, and confirmed the hire of new police chief Richard Simmons.

Greg Kim / KYUK

The City of Bethel’s finance department has a turnover problem that got even worse. Finance Director Christine Blake decided to quit early, citing a “chaotic and unprofessional environment.” This marks at least the 14th employee to have left Bethel's finance department in as many months. 


City of Bethel

Some of the issues before the Bethel City Council tonight are whether to continue the state of emergency due to COVID-19, and whether it should add new rules to allow elections by mail. Also on the agenda is confirming the new police chief.

Katie Basile / KYUK

On Friday, May 22, the state is lifting many of the coronavirus-related restrictions that have kept businesses and organizations closed; Bethel is following suit. The city is opening its facilities to the public on May 26, planning to resume bus services, and returning cab rules to a pre-COVID-19 state. 

After being cancelled earlier this week, the planned flyover of military aircraft over Bethel, Kotzebue, and Nome has been rescheduled for Friday, May 15.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel's taxi cab system was a big issue in the May 12 city council meeting. The council introduced an ordinance that would allow the city manager to extend the COVID-19 cab fare structure, but rejected a proposal to permanently move to a meter system. 

City of Bethel

Bethel City Council will meet May 12 to consider three proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first ordinance, introduced last week, would allocate $60,000 for homeslessness services. An earlier story on KYUK incorrectly said that the allocation was already approved. The council did introduce that ordinance at the May 5 meeting, but will listen to public testimony before voting on that ordinance tonight.

Anny Cochrane

On May 6, Bethel City Council introduced an ordinance to spend $60,000 of city funds to keep the homeless shelter open throughout the summer. In the same meeting, the council approved a salary of as much as $140,000 for a new police chief.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel’s per-minute cab fare will officially remain in place until May 24.


Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel City Council will hold a special meeting on May 6 to discuss two budget modifications: one to increase the police chief's salary, and another to provide extra services for the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pages