By Leigh Armstrong

The borough assembly voted unanimously on July 18 to offer the borough manager job to Brad Ryan, the public facilities director of Haines. Mayor Andrew Cremata said he hopes Ryan will be able to start work in September.

The assembly’s entire borough manager search committee recommended Ryan for the position after in-person interviews with Ryan and two other finalists July 18. Contract negotiations were pending this week, Cremata said.

The decision ends a year-long search for a new borough manager after Scott Hahn moved to Rifle, Missouri. Since then, Skagway has had multiple interim managers including Tom Healy and the current interim manager Stan Selmer. 

“It’s nice to have something to do when you’re in your 70s, but I’ll be happy when the new manager gets here,” Selmer said.

The previous borough manager search concluded in February when former state Rep. Sam Kito III was offered the position. He declined in favor of a job with the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

Ryan applied for the position as a step up from his current position and is looking forward to tackling some of the unique Skagway issues, like control of the port. “There’s a lot of interesting developments going in the harbor,” he said.

Ryan has worked in the Haines Borough as the public facilities director since 2015, during which he served as the interim borough manager for six months in 2016-2017. During that time, he applied for the job of full-time borough manager but was not selected. 

Ryan worked as the executive director of the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition from 2013 to 2015 and as the science director for the Chilkoot Indian Association from 2009 to 2013.

In addition to his work, Ryan has volunteered with the Haines Economic Development Corp., Haines Hockey Association and Chilkat Valley Community Foundation. 

Ryan holds a doctorate in environmental sciences and resources and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Portland State University.