Candidates state their cases for job |

Candidates state their cases for job

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson City Manager candidate, ____, left, talks with finance director, Mike Harman, as Mayor Larry Emory speaks with City Manager candidate, Kelly Udall, at a meet-and-greet at the Glenwood Springs Community Center Wednesday evening.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Wednesday’s city manager candidate meet-and-greet was low-key, but each of the three finalists expressed high interest in being the next person to run the city. The three finalists for the job, Jeff Hecksel of Monmouth, Ore.; Robert Larson of West St. Paul, Minn.; and L. Kelly Udall of Federal Heights, were on hand at the Community Center to talk about their respective talents and meet Glenwood Springs residents.

Jeff HeckselHecksel wore a big smile as he met the city’s staff, its residents and the press. “I have a real desire to serve. I like to work with the City Council, the staff and the people in the community,” he said. “What I like to do is get things done.”He said one of the more immediate challenges facing the incoming city manager is declining sales revenues. But despite the problems facing him, Hecksel said he’d “have the ability to bring in an outsider’s perspective.”

Robert LarsonLarson said he’s impressed with the way Glenwood Springs has been run. “I think it’s a great city with great facilities,” he said.

Larson said some of his strong points are “exceptional skills with leadership and management.””I think I’d work quite well with staff,” he said. “My other staff would tell you that they’d prefer I’d stay there.”Larson also said Glenwood has a lot of potential for development and redevelopment. “I think it’s important they have a vision,” he said. “I’ve got a fairly solid core in the redevelopment area.”

L. Kelly UdallL. Kelly Udall, a city manager in Federal Heights, said he’s visited Glenwood Springs in the past and he loves it here.”I’ve had the opportunity many times to come up here for city manager conferences,” he said.

Udall said he’s “pleasantly surprised at how complex the organization is.””This city operates like a big city,” he said. “I’m very impressed by the way it’s been managed.”Udall, former city manager for Payson, Ariz., said Glenwood and Payson have many similarities. He said both are regional retail hubs and both have highways running through them. “So I’ve got a lot of experience working in cities like this,” he said. “This is just an exciting opportunity. I think I bring a lot of passion.”

Udall also said he’s been told that he’s very aggressive when it comes to “rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done.”The next step for the candidates is for City Council to interview them individually today. Once City Council makes a decision, City Manager Mike Copp said an offer will be forthcoming very soon, and the new city manager could start in August.Contact Greg Massé: 945-8515, ext.

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