Culbeck, 2 others vie for development job


The Haines Borough received three applications for the new community and economic development director position by Tuesday’s deadline, including one from former executive assistant to the manager Darsie Culbeck.

The applicants include Culbeck, Paul Gorte of Joliet, Ill., and Earl Rinio of Sparta, Tenn.

The position’s starting annual salary is $62,000 and includes medical benefits, Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) retirement, leave and paid holidays.

According to his application, Gorte has 14 years of experience working as a community development director and 10 years working as an economic development manager for various municipalities and private companies.

Gorte worked as community development director for the Village of Bolingbrook, Ill. (1990-1997), the Village of Romeoville, Ill. (1999-2004) and the Village of Mokena, Ill. (2004-2007).

From 2008 to 2012, Gorte worked as the redevelopment manager for the City of Taft, Calif. For the past two years, he has worked as the executive director of the Logan County Economic Development Corporation in Sterling, Colo.

Gorte has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in urban planning, both from Michigan State University.

According to his application, Rinio has started or owned three companies and has worked in both the public and private sectors. Rinio’s experience includes work as a construction engineer and contract administrator for the Alaska Department of Education and a capital projects accountant for the Alaska Department of Transportation.

Rinio has a degree in business from Montana State University. He has lived or spent time in many Alaska towns, including Unalakleet, Bethel, Kotzebue, Cordova, Sitka, Valdez, Homer, Nome, Juneau and other small villages.

Culbeck’s resume outlines his work as executive assistant to the manager from 2012 to 2014 and his work as a special projects consultant for the borough from 2011 to 2012. Culbeck also co-founded Alaska Mountain Guides and worked for the company from 1992 to 2008.

He holds a degree from Western Washington University in environmental science with an emphasis in social assessment, policy and land use planning.

Culbeck is currently working as camp manager for Constantine Metal Resources until the end of August. He has held the seasonal position for the exploration company since 2009.

  Culbeck largely created the job he’s applying for. As executive assistant, he submitted a proposal to the borough’s personnel committee in January asking for a change in job title and responsibilities, including an increased supervisory role over the pool and parks and recreation departments.

Culbeck’s draft proposal would have switched his title to community and economic development director.

The community and economic development director will supervise the tourism department, as well as the pool, parks and recreation, and community youth development programs. 

It was unclear at press time whether the borough would continue to accept applications after the deadline.

Mayor Stephanie Scott said she wouldn’t mind extending the application period.

When asked why she thought the borough didn’t receive more applications, Scott said she didn’t know.

“Working for the government is a public service. It’s not a career move to work for the government in Haines,” she said.

Scott hypothesized the position’s $62,000 salary might not be enough compensation to lure more candidates.

“I don’t know if it’s a good-paying job. I don’t know what the market is in the Lower 48 in that job. I think we’re probably underpaying for that. We’re pretty much asking for a community developer and an economist,” Scott said.


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