New Castle’s Barton hired by Mesquite, NV
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – After almost four years on the job, New Castle town administrator Andy Barton is pulling up stakes and heading west to become town manager in Mesquite, Nev.
Barton, 62, will end his leadership position in New Castle on April 27, and start in his new job on May 7, he said on Wednesday. He’ll be arriving in Mesquite just in time to take part in preliminary budget talks for 2013.
“I certainly have misgivings about leaving New Castle,” Barton said. “I’ve had a great run here. It’s been a great council, a great community, and I’ve had a really good time here.”
But he said his wife has experienced some health difficulties living through the cold mountain winters, and is expected to do better at a lower, warmer location.
“It was just time for me to move on,” he said. “Four or five years as a city manager is a pretty good run.”
Admitting that he is neither a golfer nor a gambler – the two primary attractions for tourists headed to Mesquite – Barton noted that his new location is close to St. George, Zion National Park, Las Vegas and other possible destinations for when he needs time away from the town.
Mesquite, he said, is a city of roughly 15,000 people normally, a population that rises in winter to about 20,000 “when the snowbirds come down.”
With 160 city employees, he said, “it’s a much bigger government.” He predicted the new responsibilities will be an interesting challenge.
Barton was hired in April 2008 after New Castle had spent the previous eight months without an administrator.
Barton leaves behind a salary of $96,700 per year. He predicted the town council is likely to offer any applicants a salary range rather than simply pay what he was making.
Searches for a new administrator typically take three or four months, he said, although he was unsure whether the town will undertake a national search with a professional headhunter or begin by looking around the region.
Mayor Frank Breslin, who served as interim administrator before Barton was hired, said on Wednesday that he would be open to serving again as administrator if nothing else presents itself.
“It’s at the council’s pleasure, what they decide to do,” he said.
The matter will be discussed at the Tuesday, April 17, council meeting, which also will feature the swearing-in ceremony for council members elected on April 3.
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