‘Great opportunity’ for Hecksel, city as they prepare to part ways
The process that led to Glenwood Springs City Council’s decision Thursday not to renew City Manager Jeff Hecksel’s contract beyond Sept. 1, 2016, was nothing but amicable, Hecksel said.
Hecksel indicated in a follow-up press release Friday that he was pleased with the outcome of private discussions he had with council during a morning executive session before formal action was taken that night.
“This is a great opportunity for the City Council and for me as well,” Hecksel said in the statement.
Under the one-year “notice of nonrenewal” terms of his contract, Hecksel can remain on the job through Sept. 1 of next year but may look for other employment in the meantime.
At the time he gives his required 60 days notice, or in the final months leading up to the official end of his contract, council can formally begin its search for a new city manager, Hecksel explained in a follow-up interview.
“That is an accepted norm in the city manager’s profession,” he said.
Nonetheless, beginning in September, Hecksel said he will be meeting with City Council to develop a transition plan for his departure and for the selection of a new city manager.
Mayor Mike Gamba, who was part of the 4-3 council majority voting to seek a new city manager, also said he thought the recent talks among council members and with Hecksel were productive.
“We had a very good discussion with Jeff and between ourselves,” Gamba said. “I believe the council wants to work with Jeff to effect a very smooth transition.”
The decision to not renew Hecksel’s rolling two-year contract means the city will not have to pay the nine months’ severance terms also spelled out in his contract.
Had council not acted on the nonrenewal clause before next month, the contract would have automatically renewed for another two years, from Sept. 1, 2016, through Sept. 1, 2018.
Hecksel is paid $130,874 per year. In late May, after council had indicated it wanted to review his contract, Hecksel was named one of three finalists for the open city manager’s job in Delta.
However, the city council there later decided to pass on all three finalists and start the search again.
Hecksel said Friday that he does not have any other pending applications out for local government manager positions, but will likely start looking again.
Hecksel became city manager of Glenwood Springs in September 2004 after having been city manager in Monmouth, Oregon, since 1998. He has served in municipal government for 31 years.
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