Local News

Nine administrator apps survive first round

A crowded pool of applicants for Sitka’s municipal administrator job was thinned out on Tuesday night, to just 10 people.

The Sitka Assembly selected its finalists for the top job in city hall during a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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The list below comprises the nine applications (representing 10 people — two people applied as a team) that have advanced to the semi-finals.

Whoever gets the job will earn about $125,000 a year. They’ll be the public face of the city. They’ll oversee more than 150 employees, plus a general fund budget of more than $24 million, plus the largest public works projects in city history.

More than 53 people wanted that job. Here’s who made it through the first round:

Rob Allen and Robin Sherman. Allen is a former Sitka Assembly member who runs an investment company that owns and leases vessels. He’s part of the Allen family that started Allen Marine. Sherman is his wife. She runs a pair of public agencies that provide affordable housing to rural residents in western Massachusetts. Both of them hold a master of public administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. They’ve applied for the job as a team.

Robin Bennett. She was town manager of Southwest Harbor, Maine, from 2007 until 2011. The town has a population of about 2,000 that swells to 6,000 in the summertime. She’s also been the manager of four other communities in Maine and Vermont. She has an MPA and a bachelor of political science degree.

Steve Bradshaw. He’s been superintendent of the Sitka School District since 2002, and an educational administrator since 1976. He’s held jobs in Alaska and Montana. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in education.

Pamela Caskie. Former city manager of Alliance, Nebraska, population 8,900. She left that post in 2010 after five years. Since then, she’s run a consulting business in Loveland, Colorado. Caskie also has been a city executive in Pennsylvania and Vermont.

Mark Gorman. He was vice president of community health at SEARHC in Sitka from 1989 until 2009. He moved to Sitka in 1978 and still maintains a Sitka address, but since 2010 has been the country director for World Education in Laos. The organization provides microfinance, and teaches children in the southeast Asian nation how to avoid unexploded ordnance. He holds a master’s of public health from the University of Hawaii.

Cynthia Gubatayo. Right now, she’s assistant borough manager in Ketchikan, a post she’s held since 2008. She holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Phoenix, and a bachelors in accounting from the same school. She goes by “Cynna” for short.

Alan Lanning. Currently the city manager for Central City, Colo., home to nearly 700 people. But the old mining town hosts more than 1 million visitors a year, thanks in part to casinos and legalized gaming. He has a masters of public administration from the University of South Dakota, and a bachelor’s in political science from South Dakota State. He’s also been a manager in Steamboat Springs and Mintum, both in Colorado, as well as Brookings, South Dakota.

Jim Pascale. After nearly 30 years as administrator of Princeton Township, New Jersey, Pascale says in his cover letter that he wants a new challenge. Princeton Township had 16,000 residents. That’s past tense, because on January 1st of this year, it merged with the nearby Princeton borough. Pascale has an MPA and a bachelor’s from Rutgers.

Arthur Sciorra. He was manager of Ogdensburg, a city of 11,000 people along the Canadian border in upstate New York. Since leaving that post in 2012, he’s run the Clements Agricultural Research Institute — a nonprofit organic farm site in nearby Lisbon. He holds an MPA from the State University of New York in Albany, which is also where he got his bachelor’s degree.

From here, city staff will vet the candidates by checking their references. Then come interviews. The Assembly hopes to offer the job by Sept. 1, and have the person on the job by Oct. 1.

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