Former Sitka administrator Jim Dinley has died.
Dinley passed away on Saturday, June 24, at his home in Newnan, Georgia. His full obituary has been published in the Ellwood City Ledger, in his hometown of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. He was 78 years old.
Dinley was Sitka’s top municipal official for just over five years, from February 2008 until April 2013.
Dinley’s tenure in Sitka was productive, but fractious. He helped secure funding and oversight of the Blue Lake Hydroelectric expansion — the largest public works project in Sitka’s history. He delivered balanced budgets, on time. He had a gentlemanly, Southern demeanor, but also a sharp temper honed by years of military discipline. Some disagreements led to turnover among his department heads, and the assembly was forced to impose some discipline of its own.
Nevertheless, he served Sitka with one-hundred percent of his attention while he was here, whether it was as a referee for school sports, or walking across the street to make a donation to Raven Radio — which he did every spring and fall.
In his parting letter to Sitka, he called living here “the experience of a lifetime.”
Jim Dinley was born in 1939. He held a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s degree in Education from Duquesne University. He retired from the US Air Force with the rank of Colonel, before starting a new career in municipal management in Sylvester, Georgia; Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia; and finally in Sitka.
Sitka’s City Hall has sent its official condolences to his wife, Bernita. Jim Dinley will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.