Zoukee rejects manager job offer

 

April 1, 2021



Tennessee real estate investor George Zoukee may have set a new record for shortest Haines Borough manager tenure when he turned down the assembly’s job offer on Monday.

“The logistics of the move were a lot harder than I thought with borders being closed and the pandemic. It made it a tough time to make that move,” Zoukee said in an interview Monday. He said the move was going to be more costly than he anticipated.

“The numbers I was getting were over $20,000 just for furniture,” Zoukee said. He said he would have felt uncomfortable asking the borough to cover moving costs.

Zoukee said while he has applied to other jobs, he doesn’t currently have another job offer. On multiple occasions during the hiring process, Zoukee said he planned to make a ten-year commitment to the position.

“(Turning down the job) was not the easiest decision to make. It would have been an interesting role. I’m flattered and honored and disappointed, but now was just not the right time,” he said.

In 2019, Conway, NH officials found themselves in a similar situation after offering Zoukee their finance director position. After accepting the job, Zoukee backed out less than three days before his start date, citing a family matter, according to an article in the Conway Daily Sun.


“After negotiating terms with Mr. Zoukee, he has decided that a move to Haines will be too challenging,” Mayor Douglas Olerud wrote in a statement released Monday. He said the assembly will hold a committee-of-the-whole meeting Friday to discuss next steps.


Of the four finalists assembly members selected from a pool of 31 manager applicants, borough clerk and interim manager Alekka Fullerton is the only candidate who hasn’t withdrawn from consideration. She told the CVN she would decline the position if offered and will not reapply when the job is readvertised.

Fullerton has been filling in as interim manager since then-manager Debra Schnabel’s abrupt firing in May 2020.

 
 

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