March 14, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 10

Consultant option floated

Attached to Haines Borough manager Mark Earnest’s police department report to assembly members Tuesday was a proposal from a private consulting firm to evaluate the department at a $9,500 retainer fee.

According to the proposal, Soldotna-based Russell Consulting, LLC, would conduct an investigation “to identify facts that will allow the Haines Borough Police Department to improve the efficiency and professionalism of the police department, thereby enhancing its ability to serve the citizens and guests of the borough.”

The investigation would be followed by training “to provide members of the department with conflict resolution skills and motivation towards team building.”

The report was solicited by chief Gary Lowe.

Earnest emphasized he has not made a decision one way or the other on the proposal. “I haven’t made a decision as to whether or not that is something we would proceed with at this time. But (the) chief did do the research and I do know this individual. And so it’s being considered,” Earnest said.

Said member Norm Smith: “It just seems like we should be doing our own investigating. We’re hiring somebody else to do our job.”

The assembly took no action on the proposal.