Homer hires new city manager

Melissa Jacobsen has previously served as city clerk and interim city manager

The Homer City Council has selected Melissa Jacobsen, out of a candidate pool of three finalists, to fill the position of city manager, a press release announced Wednesday, July 3.

Jacobsen currently serves Homer as city clerk and interim city manager. She brings 20 years of experience with the City of Homer to her new position, and her experience over the years working with elected officials, the city’s advisory bodies, city and state elections, and other city departments “have created the stepping stones to this point in her career,” the release states.

The search for a new city manager began in March after the council “elected to conclude” the employment of former City Manager Rob Dumouchel. Thirty-two prospectives applied for the position and were put through a three-phase selection process. According to the release, all applications were initially reviewed by a City Manager Hiring Advisory Committee comprised of six community members who were appointed by Mayor Ken Castner. After evaluation, the committee recommended nine candidates to the city council.

The council then performed their own application reviews, narrowing the field from nine to three. The three finalists, who included Jacobsen, Randy Robertson and Jefferson Dubel, were interviewed via Zoom in special city council sessions on Monday, July 1 and Tuesday, July 2.

Jacobsen was unanimously selected by the council after an executive session was held Tuesday evening. According to the release, the council will hold a future special session to negotiate Jacobsen’s contract.

Castner stated in the release that he was “happy to share the news” of Jacobsen’s selection for the role.

“While transitions of administrators can be difficult, Melissa has proven her ability to keep things functioning through the mid-term budget review and the active work of the City Council. The Council and I welcome her promotion to be the next City Manager,” he said.

Jacobsen also said in the release that she’s “honored” by the mayor’s and city council’s confidence in her to serve the City of Homer in this new role.

“We have a solid team at the City and I’m looking forward to this great opportunity,” she said. “There certainly are exciting times ahead!”