Q&A with new Glenwood Springs City Manager Beverli Marshall | PostIndependent.com

Q&A with new Glenwood Springs City Manager Beverli Marshall

Beverli Marshall poses outside of City Hall during her second week as the new Glenwood Springs City Manager.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent

Beverli Marshall formally took the helm in mid-March as the new Glenwood Springs City Manager, following a lengthy search to replace Debra Figueroa who left the manager’s position in June 2022.

Marshall comes to Glenwood Springs after holding multiple public- and private-sector jobs in California and Alaska. She was most recently general manager for the Valley Sanitary District in Indio, California, and has worked in city government for 25 years. 

We asked Marshall to answer a few questions as a way of an introduction to the Glenwood Springs community and the greater Roaring Fork Valley region.

Where are you from originally, experiences growing up?

While I consider myself a SoCal gal, I was born in the Long Beach area, I grew up all over the state with a short stint in Hawaii (Big Island). 

My mother was a bit of a nomad, so we moved once every year. For several years, I was homeschooled in a learn-at-your-own-pace program and completed it by the time I was 14. To get into a four-year university in California, I had to graduate from a physical high school, so I enrolled and graduated at 17. 

In each place I’ve lived, a uniting thread for me has always been a sense of adventure and learning new things. I would often find myself wandering around the new town, seeking out people to make new friends and learn about my new home. I have discovered that these experiences allow me to be open and friendly in almost any setting, which I believe will make me an approachable city manager for Glenwood Springs.

Because of my peripatetic childhood, I don’t have a traditional hometown. I consider mine to be Bakersfield, California, because my grandparents lived there and that’s where we spent our holidays and where I eventually went to high school (East Bakersfield High School). These experiences allowed me to be flexible, adaptable and yearn to see new places. I have lived all over California, Hawaii and Alaska. I have also traveled to Europe, including Soviet Russia, Mexico, the Caribbean and Panama.

Any family/personal information about yourself you’d like to share?

I met my husband, Eric, in Alaska and my oldest daughter was born there. When she was about three months old, we moved to the Bay Area for my husband’s work. My youngest daughter was born in the Bay Area, and both consider that their home. 

We moved to the Coachella Valley (CA) for my work and lived there for almost four years. Both daughters attended college back East and the oldest now lives in Boston. My youngest daughter will be back home after graduation in June and is looking into graduate schools.

My husband was born in Salida and grew up around southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, so he is really looking forward to being back. He golfs, fly fishes and skis, and I enjoy both downhill and cross-country skiing, so Glenwood Springs is a fantastic fit for us. 

I’m also very interested in the history of the area and hope to do more genealogical research in my spare time. On my first visit to Glenwood Springs, I visited Doc Holliday’s gravesite because Wyatt Earp’s great-great-grandfather was my seventh great-grandfather.

We have a red Siberian Husky (Nichka) that we adopted at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and I am sure she will love the Colorado weather. She used to go to work with me every day, so staying home with my husband will give her lots of time to investigate her new home.

Where do you see your biggest strengths in prior experience in local government management? 

I have worked at a variety of government agencies (cities, county, state, special district) and in several services areas (wastewater, housing, parks and recreation, library, probation, administrative services), which I feel gives me a broad view of how public agencies operate. 

I also understand the challenges that most public services face in trying to meet residents’ needs with limited resources. I have also worked in communities that are very active in civic engagement with elected officials that take their roles very seriously. I believe that these experiences will enable me to be a resource to staff and a leader for the organization.

What attracted you to the Glenwood Springs manager position? 

I love the size and location of the city. While I have worked in bigger cities, I enjoy getting to know my staff, neighbors and the residents we serve. I have lived near the ocean or mountains my whole life, so I feel drawn to the scenery, climate and outdoor adventure of the Glenwood Springs area. Everyone has been friendly, helpful and very encouraging, so I know that I can make this my home and feel welcome.

I have always been drawn to public service – two of my grandparents and both parents were civil servants. After completing my B.A. in Sociology, I knew I wanted to find a way to serve my community. 

I believe that everyone needs a purpose and there is no greater professional accomplishment than contributing to a greater good. I obtained my Master of Public Administration with the career goal of becoming a city manager. 

The opportunity to be the city manager for Glenwood Springs allows me to share my knowledge and experience with a professional and well-run organization and amazing community.

Staff have been forthcoming with their needs and have shared how the city has committed to being a great place to work and a resource for the community. 

They are positive and hopeful for the future and really want to move Glenwood forward in the best possible way. The Council is also involved and educated about what the city needs and how to get there. Not without its challenges, but I feel that everyone is focused on problem solving and being proactive.

The city has been short-staffed for a while, do you have any ideas for employment now that you are settling in? 

This has been a challenge for many public agencies, especially after the pandemic. I’ve experienced first-hand how the cost of living and housing are key issues to resolve to attract and retain staff.  

There are a number of positions to be filled, but the city has seen improvement in the hiring ecosystem. 

For long-range solutions, I believe that preserving existing housing and increasing inventory and options for the local workforce is a good step in the right direction. We can work with the community to address local issues while working toward regional housing solutions.

This isn’t just a Glenwood Springs problem, so I believe that creativity and continued collaboration can be part of the long-term solution.

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