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City staff to hire manager

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Instead of spending an estimated $20,000 on a consulting firm to find a new city manager, the human resources department here will get another crack at it.

Meanwhile, City Council will extend the contract of city manager Mike Copp, who planned to retire April 30, until a new city manager is hired.

City Council decided at its regular meeting Thursday to forego hiring an outside firm in favor of letting human resources director Sebrina Hoffmeister and her staff start the process over.



The hunt for someone to take over for Copp ” who celebrated his 20th anniversary being city manager of Glenwood Springs on Friday ” started in September when he announced his retirement. The process fell apart in February when two of the top three candidates dropped out of the race, and City Council decided to start over.

Although the majority of council members voted in favor of saving $20,000 and conducting the search in-house, the decision was by no means unanimous.



Councilman Joe O’Donnell wanted to see an outside consulting firm do the job. He said city staff shouldn’t be asked to recruit their own boss.

Councilman Bruce Christensen also dissented, opining that a $20,000 investment on the front end of the process could save a lot of headaches for the city down the line.

The final vote was 4-2 in favor of conducting the search in-house.

Council met again on Friday afternoon to hash out the timing and other details of the hiring process.

The job, which offers prospective city managers $95,000 to $113,000 a year, will be advertised nationally beginning April 5. Candidates will have until May 3 to get their applications in.

“We can always extend the deadline if we don’t like what we’ve got,” city attorney Karl Hanlon said.

Mayor Larry Emery suggested targeting resort-based cities similar in size to Glenwood Springs.

Once the top 12 candidates are chosen, council will request videotapes of each candidate so they can see and hear how each person communicates.

“I place emphasis on qualifications, but I also place emphasis on leadership and ability, too,” Councilman Larry Beckwith said.

Council then plans to gather to watch the videos and do a group evaluation of each candidate.

Hoffmeister said if all goes well in this second city manager hiring process, an offer could be made to someone by June 15 and that person could start by Aug. 1.

This would delay Copp’s retirement by three months.

In other business, City Council:

– Was informed by Glenwood Springs fire chief Mike Piper that three new firefighting positions will be funded by the Glenwood Springs Fire District Board’s reserve funds. The positions will be funded for 18 months and will allow Piper to have two firefighters at all three stations at all times.

After the 18 months are up, Piper said he’s hoping the economy improves so the city can help fund these positions.

“We’d love to be able to fund these positions, but we’re not committing to this,” Councilman Dan Richardson told Piper.

– Council approved a new resolution that reaffirms the city’s intention of relocating Highway 82 off of Grand Avenue.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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