The Petersburg Indian Association, PIA, has hired former Petersburg City Manager, Bruce Jones, as their new Administrator and he began working Wednesday.
“I am looking forward to getting to work with a group of talented people,” Jones said.
Jones served 28 years with the City of Petersburg with his last six as City Manager. He retired from the City in 2007 and went to work for the Inter-island Ferry Authority.
PIA is a federally recognized tribe that works with money from grants through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“They do good things for their tribal members,” Jones said. “They have a lot of great programs such as roads, recycling, smoking cessation just to name a few and there are wonderful opportunities.”
He explained he will have the ability to collaborate with the City and other organizations to create more opportunities as the tribal administrator.
“This job is similar to being a city manager,” Jones stated. “The Tribal Council will set my priorities and I will follow those through along with day-to-day business.”
The administrator position holds great responsibility while directing the daily operations of the PIA. He will implement the directives of the tribal government, oversee PIA employees, develop and draft policies, oversee the direction of the Indian Reservation Roads Program. He will also seek additional funding for existing and new programs, attend all Tribal Council meetings, participate at Tribal events and functions, provide program and training information and any duties seen necessary by the Tribal Council.
Jones explained that he has a good bit of catching up to do. He has to familiarize himself with the programs and get to know the people running those programs.
“I have about two years worth of Tribal Council minutes to read,” he stated. “I just have to get a feel for the direction the council wants to go.”
In his interview, Jones explained that the council wanted to get some ideas regarding what to do about the restaurant, Seaside. “The restaurant isn’t doing too well, and I need to look into the reasons why.”
“I need to talk to people and see why they do not frequent the place,” Jones said. “If it’s the food quality, we can change that. If it’s the service quality, we can change that too. If that doesn’t work then we may have to take a stronger look at what’s going on.”
Right now, Jones is ready to get back into the routine of working again.
“I had all intentions of retiring in January, and did,” he stated. “But there is just not enough to keep me busy at home.”
Jones would like to see more opportunities open to the students of Petersburg.
“Our kids are at a disadvantage as far as being exposed to trades and work environments,” Jones said. “I would like to see that change, and not just for the native students, but all students.”
He explained that he would like them to have the opportunity to investigate their dreams through work force centers or trade camps that will expose them to more than what they see here.
“There is a lot more to explore out there,” he said.
Most of his first few months will be spent writing standard operating procedures, work rules and job descriptions.
“This is something I’m used to,” he said. “That’s what I do.”