Dillingham City Council hires third interim city manager as search continues

Nov 18, 2021

The City of Dillingham will hire its third interim city manager in less than a year. City council members unanimously agreed Friday, Nov. 12 to choose Mark Lynch for the position. The council is extending its search in the Lower 48.

Credit KDLG News Team

  

The City of Dillingham will hire its third interim city manager in less than a year. City council members unanimously agreed Friday, Nov. 12 to choose Mark Lynch for the position.

Lynch recently served as the Bristol Bay Borough’s interim manager from June 2020 to March 2021. He also worked as the permanent manager in the communities of Cordova and Whittier from 2009 to 2018.

Mayor Alice Ruby says that Lynch’s experience in Alaska was a factor in his hire. 

“He’s got knowledge of the region and experience definitely in rural communities,” Ruby said.

Lynch also has experience as a city council member and mayor for the city of Stark, Kansas, in the 1990s. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Meanwhile, the city will continue to search for a permanent manager. Tod Larson was the last person to fill that role; he resigned last December. Gregg Brelsford served as the city’s interim manager for several months in the spring before Chris Hladick took over as the interim.

The city is working with Pearson Consulting to recruit for the position. Ruby says that the council is not only looking for people with the technical skills for the job, but someone that fits into the community. 

"We’re not looking to have a manager that can't adapt to our culture, our community, our personalities and all that as well," Ruby said. "The council is pretty sensitive to that. Which is why they not only did a Zoom interview, but they really required a face to face because they wanted to get a feel for whether the fit was right.”

Ruby says the consulting firm has extended its search to the east coast and southern states. The city is also competing with other communities in Alaska for city manager candidates.

“So we all kind of end up competing with each other to locate candidates," Ruby said. "And some of those communities have a little more revenue then we do so they’re able to offer higher wages or more benefits.”

The city considered two candidates for the permanent position in October. Its first pick for the position, Robert Mawson, withdrew his application, citing family reasons. The council decided not to hire the other candidate, Bill Vajda.

Hladick will continue to work with the city as needed. Lynch’s tenure is contracted for six months or five days after a permanent manager is hired and assumes the position. Lynch’s start date is set for November 22. 

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200