Stories about politics.

Bethel City Council will discuss proposed alcohol ordinance and replacing City Attorney Patty Burley.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

In the same meeting in which the Bethel City Council fired its city manager, it voted to introduce a measure to pay council members, provided Bethel voters approve. The ordinance, if passed, would pay council members for their service, but not before a public vote. The compensation would include $100 for every regular city council meeting attended, $25 for every special city council meeting, and in addition, water and sewer subsidies that could total several hundred dollars a month. The vote was split 5 to 2, with council members Leif Albertson and Mitchell Forbes voting against.

Orutsararmiut Native Council is seeking to develop a subdivision near the Bethel post office that would contain 38 housing lots across approximately 17 acres..
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

More housing options could be coming to Bethel. The Bethel City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance to enter into an agreement with the Orutsararmiut Native Council to develop a subdivision. The approximately 17-acre neighborhood would be located near the Bethel post office and contain 38 housing lots.

The Bethel City Manager's empty desk.
Greg Kim / KYUK

The Bethel City Council fired City Manager Pete Williams Tuesday night. Council members were sharply divided in a 4 to 3. Voting for Williams to go were Mayor Fred Watson, Vice Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams, and council members Fritz Charles and Carole Jung-Jordan. Voting for Williams to stay were council members Leif Albertson, Perry Barr, and Mitchell Forbes.

Skip Gray / 360 North

Two tribes say that Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his administration aren’t doing enough to consult with their leaders on big issues facing the state. The previous administration made it state policy to consult with tribal entities on a government-to-government basis, which is standard practice at the federal level. But while Dunleavy acknowledges the policy, he’s unclear about how it would apply.  

Bethel City Council will discuss proposed alcohol ordinance and replacing City Attorney Patty Burley.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

On Tuesday, the Bethel City Council will look at introducing an ordinance that would compensate city council members for their duties. Council member Fritz Charles proposed the ordinance, which would pay council members $300 per month and subsidize their water and sewer costs. Council member duties include participating in regular city council meetings, special meetings, and budget meetings. Each council member must also be a member of at least one committee or commission for the city. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

On April 13, Sen. Lisa Murkowski made an unexpected visit to Bethel on her way to Eek. Murkowski had hoped to check out Eek's new running water and a tiny home project, but she got weathered out. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is keeping mostly neutral on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts. She spoke about his budget on a visit to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta this past weekend. 

Bethel Potholes
Aleina Tanabe

Bethel residents often ask, “Why are the roads so bad?” KYUK sat down with Bethel’s City Manager Pete Williams to find out.

“Gravel is gravel, and there will always be a need to maintain it. And the worse the weather is, the more it needs to be maintained,” explained Williams.

Larson Subdivision, Bethel, Alaska.
Dean Swope / KYUK

On Tuesday, Bethel City Council unanimously approved the building of Blue Sky Subdivision, which would wrap around Larson Subdivision near the airport. At the start of the council meeting, Bethel residents expressed resounding support for the proposed neighborhood, saying that Bethel needs more housing.

Musher Pete Kaiser greets fans at the Alaska Airlines terminal on March 18, 2019 in Bethel, Alaska after returning home from winning the 2019 Iditarod.
Gabby Salgado / KYUK

Bethel has a new city holiday. March 13 is now “Pete Kaiser Day,” commemorating when the Bethel musher won this year’s Iditarod.