Finalists for Glenwood Springs city manager meet and greet with residents, city officials
The finalists in the second round to select a new city manager came to Glenwood Springs Jan. 6 to see the town, meet city council members and city staff and have a meet and greet with the public.
Each of the three finalists has worked in the public sector as a manager or chief executive officer to some degree.
Doug Gerber worked in the public sector for 20 years, starting in city administration in Beloit, Wisconsin for 10 years and then he served as a city manager in Goodland, Kansas for five years and then Topeka, Kansas for six and a half years.
He served briefly as a County Project Director for the State of Kansas Office of Recovery, and most recently is a client manager for JEO consulting group.
The majority of Beverli Marshall’s career has been in the public sector, most recently working as a CEO of the Valley Sanitation District in Indio, California and the CEO of Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside in Half Moon Bay, California.
She worked as a business services manager for West County Wastewater District for six years in Richmond, California. Before working in water and sewer, she served as the Director Of Administrative Services for the city of Orinda, California and the finance manager, the manager of housing and the senior management analyst for the city of Berkley, California.
Her career started in housing and finance in the public sector, starting as a program administrator for Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, and then working for the San Francisco Housing Authority as an operations analyst and a director of housing management.
The lone area candidate, Rachel Oys, has also had an extensive career in the public sector throughout Colorado.
Her most recent position since 2015 has been the general manager for the Cordillera Metro District and the Cordillera Property Owners Association in Eagle.
Before then, she served as the interim county manager and the assistant county manager for Eagle County. Oys began her time working with Eagle County as its director of public health in January 2010 and was promoted to director of health and human services in April 2010, according to previous reporting.
She also led the development of LiveWell Colorado and the Healthy Living Branch of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Why Glenwood Springs?
The finalists have the experience, but each shared why they are interested in moving to and representing Glenwood Springs.
Oys was borned and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley. She received all of her degrees at Denver University and has spent the last decade serving in the neighboring Eagle County.
“I would say this region absolutely has a good place in my heart,” Oys said. “And my husband is a local business owner and operator in Eagle.”
Glenwood Springs is an ideal place for her and her family, she said.
Gerber has some different ideas for why he would want to live and work for the city of Glenwood Springs. His first response was coming from working in small communities and enjoying small town government work.
“The fact that Glenwood has a full-service offering in terms of what they offer to their citizens was very attractive to me,” he said. “You don’t often see cities that have water, wastewater, electric, broadband, fire, EMS and police. All the services that Glenwood Springs offers are pretty incredible and it brings a lot of opportunity and a lot of value.”
Marshall’s husband was born in Salida and after spending the last 20 years supporting her career in California, they are looking to get back to his roots and his home environment.
Marshall said she would be excited to work in a smaller community. She appreciates large-scale government, economies of scale and having the ability to get more done.
She appreciates the smaller scale, the possibility of less regulation to be able to get things accomplished and the ability to get to know residents on a more personal level. She said that being approached about decisions made for the city is a “part of the job.”
All of the finalists said they are passionate and open to diverse ideas for housing and city employment recruiting. They also appreciated the retention and loyalty the current staff has to the city of Glenwood Springs.
“I’ve worked on three of probably the biggest ‘hot potato’ issues in California: housing, homelessness and water,” Marshall said. “One of the things that I’ve learned is you never have enough of two of those three things, but two of those things are critical to dealing with the third.”
She went on to explain that she was contributing to coming up with ideas for mixed-use housing in the year 2001 with retail on the bottom and housing on the top, but making the retail micro businesses for the people living in the building.
“The other thing that I really feel strongly about is that any community, to be healthy, has to have housing that can take someone through their entire lifetime,” she said.
Marshall thinks that housing should be created in a way that people do not have to move out of their community or neighborhood when they reach a new stage in life, whether it be children or retirement.
Oys said she looks to diversifying solutions and working to keep the vibrancy in a community, when brainstorming ideas for housing and the local economy.
She said she missed the day-to-day of local government, being part of a team and working with council; along with getting to know and support community members and engaging with them.
Oys has more than 20 years of grant writing experience, starting with the Red Cross, and has experience creating funding on a city and county level.
“I believe in diversifying funding so we can have sustainable programs,” she said. “It’s not even necessarily that it’s writing grants for the city of Glenwood Springs, but having information data and strategies so that those can be applied for other organizations to go after grant funding.”
Gerber has run small-town government for 15 years and understands that it requires a lot of hat wearing
“You figure it out yourself,” he said.
When Gerber was asked for possible ideas for housing, he said his approach would be about having the conversation, making sure the right people are at the table and being open to all ideas, even if they sound a little crazy.
He also double majored in political science and French for his bachelor’s and said he knows enough Spanish to feel comfortable to translate a conversation while visiting the Glenwood Springs Police Department.
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