Agreement paves way for Hecksel departure
Glenwood Springs City Council is prepared to consider a formal separation agreement with City Manager Jeff Hecksel tonight that will allow the city and Hecksel to part ways prior to next August if need be.
Hecksel, the city manager in Glenwood Springs for the past 11 years, has been actively searching for a new job since council decided in early August not to renew his two-year rolling contract.
Hecksel’s contract allowed him a year’s notice of nonrenewal. Unless he resigns in the meantime, Hecksel could stay on through August 2016.
However, the proposed separation agreement calls for him to remain only until Feb. 1, 2016, but continue to receive pay until he finds new employment or until next August, whichever comes first.
Recently, he was named as one of five finalists for the city manager’s job in Moses Lake, Washington, and in June Hecksel was a finalist for the manager’s job in Delta.
The Delta City Council ultimately decided to pass on the first set of finalists. As of Wednesday, a decision had not yet been made by the Moses Lake council on the manager’s position there.
In any case, “he is anticipating that he won’t be here until next August,” Glenwood Springs Mayor Michael Gamba said of Hecksel.
“In which case, we need to put the necessary things in place to begin our process to search for a new city manager or appoint an interim manager,” Gamba said.
A formal separation agreement will allow that to occur in a timely manner whenever Hecksel is offered a new job, Gamba said.
“Legally, we can’t even discuss that possibility until we have this in place,” he said. “This just makes it clear that he will be leaving and these are the terms.”
A split Glenwood Springs City Council voted 4-3 Aug. 6 not to renew Hecksel’s contract. Two new councilors elected earlier this year joined the majority, which praised Hecksel’s work but decided the city needs fresh perspective.
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