City takes high road in search for manager |

City takes high road in search for manager

Next Tuesday, Glenwood Springs residents and city staff will have a chance to vet the three finalists for the city manager position.

It’s a refreshing openness in the government process that’s been used successfully in Rifle. It will give those in Glenwood Springs who are concerned about this choice a sense of ownership in the final decision.

The candidates are slated to meet privately with the City Council and with current city manager Mike Copp during the day Tuesday. Then they will meet the public in a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, followed by a private evening social event with the city’s department heads.

Candidates for the job are Gunnison city manager Mark Collins, Basalt deputy town manager Elizabeth Suerth, and Winnetka, Ill., village manager Douglas Williams.

Until mid-January, it appeared that Bill Efting, city parks and recreation director at the time, was lined up as the heir apparent for Copp’s position. Efting has a long history of running local governments in neighboring Pitkin and Eagle counties, and didn’t waste time making a good impression in Glenwood Springs after he was hired for the parks and rec post last summer.

But Efting took an earlier offer in January to manage the town of Basalt. He cited the timing in his choice, noting that the Basalt job was a sure thing.

The only way City Council could have snagged Efting for the Glenwood Springs job at that point would have been to offer him the job right away. That would run counter to the public process they were already committed to.

Efting would have been a good hire for the city, but City Council deserves credit for sticking to the high road and keeping the city manager search open from beginning to end.

Now, the best thing to do is to drop by the Community Center next Tuesday to meet Collins, Suerth and Williams, and see which one will fit Glenwood Springs the best.

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