Watt responds to Chief Johnson on decision to apply for manager vacancy

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - There was a response from City Manager Rorie Watt on Action Line today (Friday) to something Police Chief Bryce Johnson said on Wednesday's program.

    Talking Watt into applying for the manager's  job  was identified by the chief  as a high point of this time here.

    Watt did not apply initially, but did so when the Assembly opened it up for additional applications.

    Watt said he got some really kind encouragement from people in the community, so he put his name in for the job.  When asked what Chief Johnston said to him to convince him to do that Watt said, "We're going to leave that between the two of us."

    A low point for Chief Johnson is the increasing crime rate.  He said the department's case load has doubled and that the current staff wasn't designed to to handle that many cases.

    In the meantime, the number of fire department calls are up 17% compared to last year at this time putting on pace to exceed 5,000 calls in 2017.

    Fire Chief Rich Etheridge told us on Action Line Thursday that they could use additional staff to handle those calls.

    Watt was asked about those challenges.  "At some point maybe we're going to have a tough conversation about either tax increases or service reductions across the departments which accommodate some of our core services."

    He figures they will looking to make these decisions during the next budget cycle.
    He added that the next budget cycle is going to push


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