Glenwood rec. director hired as Basalt manager
Glenwood Springs parks and recreation director Bill Efting has been hired as the new town manager of Basalt.
Efting, also a former assistant manager in Aspen, was selected from three finalists who were interviewed Monday by the Basalt Town Council.
The council’s choice was unanimous after a discussion, according to Mayor Pro Tem Anne Freedman.
Efting was offered the job on the same day that three finalists were interviewed. There were a total of 30 applicants for the position, which is being vacated by Tom Baker.
The job’s salary is $80,000 a year.
Efting worked for the city of Aspen from 1986 until 1996, first as the recreation director, then as head of leisure services and ultimately as assistant city manager starting in 1989.
Efting happened to be the acting manager when Aspen waged two of its ugliest political battles ” a vote on a proposal to ban sales of furs from animals caught in leghold traps and a recall aimed at the mayor and majority of council members.
He said he recalled leaving work at City Hall and seeing satellite trucks of the three major networks parked outside almost daily during that period. The fur ban proposal put Aspen in the international spotlight.
Likes town’s direction
Efting said he applied for the Basalt position because he’s “liked what they’ve done over the last five years.” He credited Baker for helping boost citizen involvement in government and creating land use master plans that chart the town’s future.
Efting said it was also important to him that the Basalt government reacted so well to the tough economic times that followed Sept. 11, 2001.
“They did a good job of tightening their belt last year and it’s paying off in the 2004 budget,” he said.
Efting said he will bring a “hands-on” type of management. “My biggest thing in management is no surprises,” he said. Whether it’s good news or bad news, the Town Council will know about it, he said. He also vowed to go out of his way to meet business owners and citizens, and to make sure Town Hall is accessible.
“I like him because he’s got really strong personal skills, he’s really smart and gets along with everybody,” said Basalt Councilwoman Jacque Whitsitt.
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