Former Anchorage lawmaker takes manager job in Haines

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2001

HAINES (AP) -- Marco Pignalberi of Anchorage, who served one term in the Legislature in the 1980s before being thrown off the ballot for not revealing a loan from a lobbyist, has been picked as the new city manager in Haines.

The Haines City Council made the unanimous choice last week after a two-month search for a new top administrator for the city.

''The city seems to have a very good staff, among other good assets,'' Pignalberi told the Chilkat Valley News said after a tour of Haines and meetings with city workers.

Pignalberi was one of two final candidates invited to Haines for interviews after the city voted to change its structure to the city manager form. The other finalist took a job elsewhere.

Pignalberi served in the Legislature from 1984 to 1986. But during his reelection campaign his name was removed from the ballot after he failed to make a timely disclosure of $43,000 he borrowed from lobbyist Ed Dischner, who was embroiled in a federal investigation of corruption in the North Slope Borough.

Pignalberi tried to get back in politics last year, losing to former Rep. Terry Martin in the Republican primary for a Senate seat later won by Democrat Bettye Davis.

Pignalberi has other experience in the government and political realm, working most recently as chief of staff for the Rules Committee of the Alaska House of Representatives. He served as assistant commissioner for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and worked for former Anchorage mayors George Sullivan and Tom Fink.

Pignalberi said he had no concerns about his salary of about $5,500 a month, but said he would prefer an incentive package in his contract for bringing in money from outside the community. He said his legislative ties could help bring in funding to improve water and sewer facilities, as well as roads.

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