Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Elliott: Lack of gym space limited program


September 8, 2011

According to the Haines Borough’s most recent Community Youth Development (CYD) director, a facilities crunch has restricted the growth of the program.

"It’s advertised 17 hours a week, but there was just no place I could organize 17 hours a week of activities," said former CYD director Sarah Elliott. "That’s kind of the struggle with that job. If there was a recreation center/community center, it would be a lot easier."

Elliott left her CYD position last month to become community director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Upper Lynn Canal. She was CYD director for three years, helping coordinate activities such as basketball, soccer and a youth hiking program.

The borough budgeted $10,296 for fiscal year 2012 to cover CYD salaries and wages. That amount comes out to about 13 hours a week at the proposed wage of $14.94 per hour. CYD is expected to pull in $8,000 annually in user fees, to offset some of the $35,646 in total expenses. The biggest chunk of the cost is the $10,800 slated for travel and per diem.

The borough’s job description posted Aug. 26 says CYD aims "to assist the youth of the Haines Borough to develop into socially responsible and capable citizens by providing opportunities for youth to take an active part in wholesome activities which will develop their individual and group capabilities and responsibilities." The mayor-appointed Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee oversees the program.

"You organize youth activities in Haines, and it’s very vague and it’s very open," Elliott said. "The one issue I had with that job is there’s not really a location to organize youth activities. The gym is full throughout the winter, and in the summer, it’s harder to kind of juggle, because kids are going on vacations."

The application and job description are available online at The position requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Applications are due by Wednesday, Sept. 14.