|The City of Coffman Cove owns and operates the community's sanitation systems. Ordinances giving the city the necessary operational and regulatory authority have been adopted and properly codified in Title VII of the local municipal code, which is readily available in print at the city office and online at the city's website.
The seven-member city council is the city's governing authority and the utility's policy-making body. The council holds regular meetings as required by Alaska Statutes Title 29 on the third Thursday of each month. To comply with Alaska's Open Meetings Act, the city consistently posts notice of each meeting at least five days in advance at the city hall, the library, the post office, a local liquor store, and a local grocery store. Each notice indicates the type of meeting to be held, as well as its location, date, and time.
The city council is active in policy-making for the utility, as evidenced in the six months of council meeting minutes reviewed by RUBA staff. The meetings minutes show that council is provided with written financial narratives, briefings on ongoing utility upgrade projects, staffing issues, training requests, and concerns of the public. The minutes also show that municipal acts, including resolutions and budget amendments, are adopted as necessary and in accordance with standard rules of parliamentary procedure.
The city council has given itself the authority to amend its utility fee schedule and enter into billing arrangements and repayment plans with utility customers by resolution. All additional rules and regulations for water and wastewater service are outlined in Chapter 7.04 of the municipal code. The chapter's provisions are properly enforced; customers are assessed late fees, issued delinquency notices, and disconnected from service as required.
The city administrator, Misty Fitzpatrick, serves as utility manager. Ms. Fitzpatrick has received formal training from RUBA staff in the roles and responsibilities of public officials, ordinances and resolutions, budgeting, rate setting, Title 29 of state statute, the local municipal code, strategies for effective meetings, the Alaska Open Meetings Act, executive sessions, ex parte contact, and conflict of interest. From years of operating her own small business, Ms. Fitzpatrick also brings critical financial management experience. She and other city officials actively seek management assistance from RUBA staff when necessary and plans to attend the 32-hour RUBA 'Clerk Management for Rural Utilities' training in Juneau April 2-6.
As noted in previous sections, the city utilizes the professional services of Alaska Business Partners in Ketchikan for most of its financial, accounting, tax-payment, and bookkeeping needs. Staff at Alaska Business Partners are willing and able to provide city officials with the financial resources and information that they need to effectively manage the community's utilities. Additionally, the city recently hired a new treasurer and a new city clerk who will be cross-trained to assist in utility billings and bookkeeping. These staff participated in the same formal trainings as the city administrator and the city clerk has received one-on-one training from RUBA staff on elements of her job description.
The State of Alaska's Division of Water has rated Coffman Cove's water treatment system at the Class 2 level based on the plant's various components. Its primary operator, Ronald Rusher, is fully certified with a Level 2 endorsement that expires on December 31, 2012. Mr. Rusher has already obtained the requisite number of Continued Education Units (CEUs).
RUBA staff has worked with the community to draft an organizational chart that indicates levels of authority and the relationship between supervisors and subordinates. Though that draft chart was reviewed at a workshop session of the city council in March 8, 2011, it has yet to be formally adopted.|