City awarded for outstanding pandemic response

CT 12-11 award.jpg Mayor Clay Koplin displays an award received by the city for its outstanding response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Dec. 2, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

The city of Cordova has been recognized by the Alaska Municipal League for its outstanding response to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic fallout. The AML is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of local governments in state and federal decision making.

“We appreciate the teamwork and collaboration demonstrated by the city of Cordova in response to the pandemic and economic crisis,” said AML Executive Director Nils Andreassen. “We understand the tireless efforts this requires, and the resilience of the community.”

Mayor Clay Koplin displayed the award at a Dec. 2 city council work session. The award reflected strong teamwork between the city council, the city’s emergency management team, and concerned citizens, he said. Koplin singled out City Manager Helen Howarth, saying she had succeeded in striking a balance between public health and personal freedom in the city’s pandemic response, and that she had effectively supported the local business community during the crisis.

“I think Cordova took a really good path of encouraging and putting positive incentives in place for people to follow the rules — more of a carrot approach than a stick approach,” Koplin said. “I think we were very successful, and did set a model for other communities and for the state itself.”