Glenwood Springs council votes to continue city-manager search
City council came to a final decision this morning to continue the city-manager search.
“I’ll speak on behalf of the majority of council that finding that right fit and a candidate who could fill that seat is the most important thing right now,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said. “We’re disappointed that we didn’t find anybody through this first round. We’re hopeful that the second round will produce somebody.”
The vote to continue was motioned by Council Member Shelley Kaup and the rest of council voted to continue except Council Member Tony Hershey, who was discouraged by the amount of funding and time spent on the original search.
“We had to take time off, and we’ve spent hours on this,” he said. “Is that how the community wants me to spend my time governing, by just doing this whole process over again for no reason? It makes no sense.”
He opened the morning’s special council meeting about the city manager motioning for two of the candidates, which both died from no second. He first motioned for John Craig and then motioned for Jenn Ooton.
“It’s the taxpayers money, and this general-fund money could go to something else, like fixing our streets and our infrastructure and transformers that blow up and stuff like that,” Hershey said. “I just think it’s a waste of money when we expect it, and we have some good people.”
The city budgeted $22,500 to pay the contracted company KRW Associates to conduct the search, and Godes said that $21,000 was spent on the search during the special meeting on the morning of Sept. 21.
He and mayor Pro Tem Charlie Willman, along with the rest of council talked about conducting a second search while offering a higher salary. Council said they have looked at other communities and think they’d receive a higher candidate pool if they offer higher salary and/or other benefits.
There will be an executive session soon for the council to discuss salary changes to continue the manager searches. Salary ranges for the initial job posting were between $190,000 to $210,000.
“Next Thursday, we’re having an executive session where we will talk about our hiring, how we do this and how we will move forward with the consultant,” Godes said. “We were looking for a combination of experience, education and fit that while all the candidates displayed some of that in some regard. We didn’t find that candidate who was a great fit for Glenwood Springs at this time.”
Vail and Frisco both recently conducted their own searches for city manager and had large applicant pools to choose from, but they were also required to raise the salary for the positions and offer housing.
Further west, Grand Junction recently raised their salary pay for their city manager to $237,550, while the Rifle city manager, who was hired a year ago, was offered an annual salary of $145,000. The Rifle city manager’s salary could be subject to change with a job listing being placed a week ago, with no salary number listing, but instead posting, “highly competitive with a generous benefits package.”
“I just like to thank all the candidates. I think we had a very qualified applicant pool, and we had a lot of great people,” said Council Member Shelley Kaup. “We’re looking for the right fit for the city, and, at this time, with everything we have going on and to lead our organization, I think it’s a really important process, and it’s important to take our time to find someone who we all feel very comfortable with. So, thanks to everyone.”
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