The search for Wrangell’s next borough manager will continue. After interviewing its last candidate, the Wrangell Borough Assembly announced Wednesday it will start from scratch.
The assembly interviewed its last prospect, former Bethel City Manager Ann Capela, for the position Tuesday. The assembly discussed its options in executive session for about an hour before assembly member Patty Gilbert made the announcement.
“Move to direct the borough clerk to advertise for the borough manager’s position,” said Gilbert.
The motion was unanimously approved. Current Manager Jeff Jabusch announced his retirement in September 2016 and left the assembly with six months to find a replacement. A hiring committee made up of assembly members and borough administration has sifted through 21 applicants since.
Changes have been made to streamline the process in the second round, and the hiring committee has been scrapped. Jabusch and Borough Clerk Kim Lane will now weed through applicants and put forth prospects to the assembly for interviews.
Assembly member Mark Mitchell, who sat on the committee, explained the process was cluttered with too many people and slowed progress. Mitchell said that led probable candidates to takes jobs elsewhere.
“If you got applicants looking for a job, they’re not going to sit back and wait for three or four months to find out if they got the job. The good ones are gone by that time,” Mitchell explained. “These are some of the things we addressed and why we streamlined it. Hopefully this go-around we’ll get some qualified candidates.”
The borough will also provide a timeline to all prospective applicants to keep them informed about the process. Applications for the position will be accepted until March 15.
In the first round, three candidates remained in the running until mid-January. One dropped out later that month and former prospect, Bradley Hanson, accepted another position.
Jabusch still plans to retire in March. An interim manager will take his place as the borough goes back to the drawing board. It will announce the temporary manager in the coming weeks.