Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Wednesday announced that the city’s chief fiscal officer, Grant Yutrzenka, is resigning after less than one year on the job.
Yutrzenka began serving as acting CFO in September, after the resignation of former CFO Travis Frisk. Bronson appointed Yutrzenka to the position permanently in January, and the Anchorage Assembly confirmed Yutrzenka as CFO that month. His departure announcement comes exactly five months after the confirmation vote.
Yutrzenka’s last day will be May 19, according to the mayor’s office. The administration is actively seeking a new CFO and Yutrzenka is helping with the process, the mayor’s office said.
Before becoming CFO, Yutrzenka worked as the assistant general manager and chief financial officer for Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility.
The mayor’s office did not say why Yutrzenka is resigning. A brief written statement included well-wishes from Bronson, who said Yutrzenka’s “leadership skills and strong financial mind will be sorely missed in City Hall.”
“I have enjoyed my time as CFO and thank Mayor Bronson for his confidence in me,” Yutrzenka said in the written statement. “I look forward to spending more time with my family and enjoying the great outdoors this summer.”
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to an interview request and questions from the Daily News about the reasons for the CFO’s departure.
The CFO oversees the financial activity of the municipality and several departments and divisions, including the Finance Department and its divisions of Controller, Property Appraisal, Public Finance and Investments and Treasury, and the Purchasing Department.
Since the mayor took office, the Bronson administration has seen a spate of departures and firings of top officials and high vacancy numbers in several city departments, including in the Finance Department.
Facing about 50% vacancies for staff positions in the Controller Division, the city earlier this year contracted with a private firm for up to $2 million in professional accounting services to accomplish work usually done by the city’s own employees.
There was more upheaval at City Hall following Bronson’s firing in December of former municipal manager Amy Demboski, who later accused the administration of retaliation, unethical and illegal actions, discrimination and fostering a hostile work environment.
Departures of city officials have mounted since, including the former acting city attorney, who has now been replaced by city attorney Anne Helzer; Bronson’s deputy chief of staff; the city’s human resources director; and more recently, Bronson’s chief of staff and the Solid Waste Services director, who both resigned last month.
On Tuesday, the mayor’s office also announced the resignation of the Anchorage Public Library’s deputy director, Judy Eledge. Library employees have reported that she made racist and inappropriate comments and accused her of fostering a hostile work environment. Eledge has been at the center of three related lawsuits, including one filed against the city Tuesday by a former library employee and two filed by the city’s former director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, who claims she was fired by Bronson in retaliation for investigating the complaints against Eledge.