Carbondale board votes 4-3 to not renew Baker’s contract |

Carbondale board votes 4-3 to not renew Baker’s contract

CARBONDALE, Colorado – The Carbondale Board of Trustees, at a special Wednesday night meeting, declined to renew the contract of town manager Tom Baker, who has served as the town’s top administrator for six years.

Baker’s contract was set to expire at the end of the year. The contract had been the subject of several executive session discussions by the board in recent weeks. However, the split board had been unable to reach a decision until now.

After Wednesday’s executive session discussion, the board returned to open session and voted 4-3 not to renew Baker’s contract. The majority included Mayor Stacey Bernot and Trustees John Foulkrod, Elizabeth Murphy and Ed Cortez.

Dissenting were Trustees Frosty Merriott, Pam Zentmyer and John Hoffmann.

A press release issued late Wednesday night by town attorney Mark Hamilton stated:

“The Board of Trustees requested Mr. Baker to continue his employment with the town into 2011 to assist with transition, and authorized the negotiation of a mutually agreeable severance package.

“The entire Board of Trustees extended its gratitude to Mr. Baker for his dedicated service to the Carbondale community,” the statement read.

As word spread in the larger community last week that Baker’s job was on the line, several citizens stepped up to circulate letters of support for Baker. About 150 signatures and separate letters were presented to the board at Wednesday’s meeting.

“That’s pretty impressive, that 150 people would come together in less than a week,” Merriott said. “It shows there was a lot of support in the community for Tom, and the job he’s done.”

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