In the last paper, I read the details of a contract between Darsie Culbeck and the Haines Borough for services regarding biomass energy implementation in our community. I am quoted as being “shocked” (which I was when I first heard it). Upon further reflection, this is a contract made between the borough and a contractor. The terms are agreed to by the manager considering many factors such as skills needed, availability, ability to deliver, etc. It is a mutually beneficial negotiation between two parties. The image of a consultant being flown from Mexico to the U.S. is what I was reacting to.

While much of the article focused on Darsie Culbeck, it is really about the business of the borough dealing with contracting, whoever it might be. Contracting is an important tool the borough needs to minimize adding to staff, especially for short-lived projects. In this case, the money to pay for it came from the $1.2 million grant that Darsie initially got for the borough several years ago.

I have worked with Darsie for 8-9 years on various projects in this community, including the biomass project at the Senior Center. He is a dedicated champion of moving us toward renewable energy and other aspects of sustainable community development and quality of life. We are lucky to have his expertise and connections that will help us move away from a dependence on oil and become more energy sustainable in our future. It is not easy being a leader. Ron Jackson

Haines Borough Assembly member