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Copp should say no, city should move on

With two weeks’ notice being the standard for quitting a job, and two months being tremendously generous, Glenwood Springs city manager Mike Copp must have thought he had gone to extremes in announcing in September that he would stepping down next April 30.

Turns out, some City Council members would like to convince him to stay around even longer.

Mayor Don Vanderhoof broached the idea last week during a strategic planning meeting, suggesting that Copp be asked if he wouldn’t mind postponing his retirement until late 2004 or even into 2005. Others on council endorsed the idea, leaving a surprised Copp unsure how to respond.



He should say thanks but no thanks, and politely suggest that the city prepare itself to let go and move on.

Part of Vanderhoof’s concern is over the high amount of turnover being experienced within the city’s leadership. An eight-year council veteran himself, Vanderhoof is stepping down this year due to term limits. Council member Jean Martensen isn’t running again.



The turnover is an understandable concern, but the city will survive. There’s plenty of longevity on city staff, and depending on election results, as many as five council members also will remain to provide continuity.

Besides, Copp already has given plenty to Glenwood Springs, serving as city manager for almost two decades now. He’s made a decision to move on, and it should be respected. He already has given an extraordinary amount of advance notice of his departure, to enable someone to be brought in early enough that he or she can spend some time with Copp before he leaves. It’s unfair to him, and Glenwood, to ask him to commit himself to spending further time in a demanding job after he’s already picked a time to leave it.

As Copp is the first to point out, 20 years is a long time for anyone to be on a job. Copp has served Glenwood well, but he also has made his decision that the time has come to turn over the city’s management to someone new.

Any time there is a turnover in veteran leadership in an organization, valuable experience is lost. But it’s also an opportunity for someone with fresh energy and new ideas to invigorate things. Even as they lament Copp’s departure, Glenwood’s city council, staff, and the public also should look forward to the positives of this time of transition.


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