The Petersburg Indian Association re-hired Bruce Jones after letting him go in mid-October – and only two months of service to the organization. Jones has agreed to a four-year commitment with PIA after a long career in local government.
“I had all intentions of continuing on with retirement,” Jones said. “I had my name out there on the Alaska Municipal League website to be available as an interim City Manager.”
Jones had just been called by the City of Whittier when he met with the PIA tribal council Wednesday evening.
“I put in 28 years with the City of Petersburg and another five with the Inter-Island Ferry Authority,” Jones stated. “I have been waiting for Fran to get ready to quit working but I will be back at work Monday morning.”
The PIA tribal council has changed due to the January elections and another appointment to a resigned seat.
“We have a board that is more engaged now,” Jones said. “I think this board will understand that the tribal administrator needs to have the ability to control the work, the workers, the non-producers and those that can't be educated to acceptable standards.”
Jones will rearrange some positions within PIA and will be looking to hire a new grant coordinator as well as combining a human resources and finance position.
“Those that continually want to work outside of the work rules just won't do,” Jones stated. “Issues with personnel happen fast and you just have to accept that fact.”
The Seaside Restaurant is also an issue for Jones.
“The board closed the place and turned around and opened it up for breakfast and lunch,” Jones said. “This is one of the first things the board wants me to do is get in there and run the numbers and see where we are with the restaurant.”
Before leaving PIA in October, Jones hired a manager for the restaurant, Jason Wilson, to run the business.
“I knew we needed a manager in there that had experience managing people,” Jones stated. “He has been very effective getting in there and looking at the manpower, prices and menu and he has revamped the whole thing and is doing a great job.”
Jones also explained that if the restaurant is not making money the board is looking a several options and waiting for his assessment of the business.
“I hate to give up on the place because we have some outstanding people working there,” Jones said. “It's hard to do that when they have been promised jobs and it doesn't work out, but if the community isn't supporting the program then we can't keep it going.”
Jones also stated that he is happy to be back at PIA.
“I am happy to be back. I had this nagging feeling when things were interrupted,” Jones stated. “I felt that things were unfinished and the people that work there are just great. Now I have the opportunity to finish what I started.”