Former Haines Borough Assembly member Debra Schnabel applied for the municipality’s community and economic development director position this week, but code and charter will likely prevent her from being hired.

Schnabel applied for the job Tuesday, and acknowledged in her cover letter that borough code currently prohibits her hire.

According to code, for one year after an assembly member leaves office, he or she can’t hold a paid borough position that was created or had a salary increase during that member’s last year in office.

Schnabel’s last day on the assembly was Tuesday, when newly-elected assembly members Ron Jackson and Mike Case replaced her and Jerry Lapp.

“Should I rise to the status of preferred candidate based on qualification and merit, I trust that the administration would work with me to achieve my appointment,” Schnabel wrote in her cover letter.

After speaking with clerk Julie Cozzi, however, Schnabel said she was informed there is a nearly identical prohibition in borough charter. “I wasn’t as concerned about it when I was limited to just thinking about code,” Schnabel said.

Code can be changed by ordinance. Charter can only be changed by a vote of the people.

Cozzi said Wednesday she thinks it is “very clear that Ms. Schnabel would be disqualified from being hired or otherwise compensated for the community and economic development director position for a full year from yesterday.”

“The administration has no latitude whatsoever to decide which sections of charter or code to enforce or not. Neither does the assembly, for that matter. I am certainly not an attorney, but I see nothing unclear about the prohibition stated in (charter),” Cozzi said.

Schnabel has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a master’s of public administration from the University of Alaska Southeast. She has done community and economic development-related contract work for the borough and the Alaska Public Radio Network.

She has also worked in management positions for the Chilkoot Indian Association, Kiana Corporation, Kachemak Bay Broadcasting, Silakkuagvik Communications, Lynn Canal Broadcasting and Pacific Timber Products.

The borough is accepting applications until the position is filled. The first application review date is Nov. 7.