Petersburg-AK A crowd of more than 40 people turned out to show support for Petersburg’s City Manager at Tuesdays meeting of the City Council. It was the first annual evaluation for manager Richard Underkofler, who faced criticism from a slim majority of four members. They acknowledged Underkofler’s competence, knowledge and work ethic. However, they complained that he had treated them with disrespect. They were upset about the way he had publically disagreed with some of their directions and they accused him of pitting city staff and the other councilors against them.
The other three councilors gave Underkofler high marks and emphasized his work product far outweighed any problems with his demeanor. Their stance was backed-up by the audience, many of whom spoke to Underkofler’s talents and extensive experience as an administrator. They urged the council to keep underkofler in the job and many of their comments drew applause from the rest of the crowd.
The testimony ultimately prompted the four-member majority to back-off on a move to fire the manager. Instead, they agreed to seek mediation to try and improve their strained relationship. Matt Lichtenstein has a more detailed look at Tuesday's lengthy discussion.
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