Commissioners finalize manager job description
Garfield County commissioners are looking for a new county manager who can work well with others and has a strong understanding of energy development and land use in general.
The new manager must also “listen carefully and patiently to a variety of individuals and groups with strongly held views, to glean information that can be used to develop effective organizational plans, and resolve or manage conflict effectively.”
Those are among the components of a six-page county manager job description approved by commissioners Monday as they cast a nationwide net to find a new chief executive to run county government.
“We want to make sure the new manager understands what energy development is and how to approach it in this county,” Commission Chairman John Martin said of the one of the additions made to the job description during the commissioners’ regular meeting in Carbondale on Monday.
That extends to a basic knowledge of land use, he said.
The commissioners are seeking to replace former county manager Andrew Gorgey, with whom the board parted ways in early July.
Gorgey, who had been Garfield County manager since mid-2012 and prior to that served as county attorney for a year, agreed to a “mutual separation agreement” with the commissioners that included a six-month, $75,000 severance deal.
Afterward, Martin said the mutual decision for Gorgey to step down, as well as a decision earlier this year to have former county attorney Frank Hutfless to accept a retirement option, came down to some “personality conflicts” within county government.
“We are a growing family, and we had some problems starting to develop that we didn’t want to escalate,” Martin told the Post Independent shortly after Gorgey’s departure.
The county is handling the manager search through its own Human Resources Department, rather than hiring an outside consulting firm as it has done with past searches.
Diane Hayes, the county’s human resources director, said the job opening has already been posted in some venues. The job description will be posted to the county website and will be included with a packet of information that will go out to would-be applicants.
Hayes said the county is looking at an early October date to close the application period. A steering committee will then pare the number of applicants to a “manageable number” who will then be screened through phone or live video interviews.
Eventually, a group of between three and six finalists will be publicly announced, she said. By statute, that must occur 14 days before a hiring decision, Hayes explained.
The commissioners are hoping to have the manager’s position filled soon after the first of the year, if not earlier.
In the meantime, Deputy County Manager Kevin Batchelder continues to serve as acting county manager.
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