Haines Borough interim public facilities director Brian Lemcke is recommending the municipality hire Haines resident Brad Ryan as his successor.

  Lemcke finished out his interim position this week. He had been on the job since early May, and also worked in the position from July 2011 through September 2012.

The borough received 14 applications for the permanent job. Ryan, the only local applicant, and three other finalists were selected for interviews.

Ryan has served as executive director of the Southeast Alaska Watershed Council since November 2013. He previously worked as executive director of the Takshanuk Watershed Council, science director and grant writer for the Chilkoot Indian Association, and research fisheries biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

He has a PhD in environmental science and bachelor’s degree in biology.

In his cover letter, Ryan said he believes his experience is “perfectly aligned” with the public facilities director position.

“I currently work throughout Southeast Alaska with communities helping them secure funding and provide the capacity to complete desired projects that will improve their quality of life. I provide project management, permitting, budget management, and grant writing/management to seven communities throughout Southeast Alaska,” Ryan wrote.

Lemcke said Ryan is his favorite for the job because he lives in Haines. “I think we have a good group (of finalists), and the fact that there is a local person involved carries huge weight with me as far as already having a sense of how the community works,” Lemcke said.

The other three finalists are William Dennis of Madison, Kansas; Thomas Mannatt of Cloverdale, Calif .; and Vincent Shevham of Harper, Ore. They were interviewed by Lemcke, manager David Sosa and harbormaster Shawn Bell.

Shevham works as construction manager for the Oregon-based Parametrix Engineering and previously worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Mannatt worked for the past eight years as city engineer and sewer director for the City of Willits, Calif. He designed roads, storm drains, water mains, sewer systems and other city projects. He also oversaw a $24 million redesign and upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Dennis is a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who has 27 years of experience managing operations and maintenance of electrical transmission systems and nuclear propulsion plants.  

When he first came back to fill the interim position, Lemcke said he was skeptical that the borough even needed to keep the job on the payroll.

“I was a little bit vocal about saying they don’t need to fill this position, but I’ve had a complete change of heart. There are some things on the horizon that somebody needs to be on top of,” Lemcke said.

Big upcoming or ongoing responsibilities include the Small Boat Harbor expansion project, Lutak Dock project, wastewater treatment plant replacement and Piedad water project. Lemcke also recently started using GPS to map the borough’s entire utility system to replace old, outdated information, a project he hopes the next facilities director will continue to move forward.

“My advice to the next person is keep some boundaries in place and not let the job overcome your personal life. Focus on moving things ahead,” Lemcke said.

Sosa said the committee is reviewing results of the interviews and soon will decide whether to recommend one candidate, narrow the field further or restart the search.