Aspen City Council’s hiring authority will go to electorate |

Aspen City Council’s hiring authority will go to electorate

Aspen voters will decide in November whether City Council can be part of the hiring process for the heads of both the Police and Community Development departments.

Aspen City Council voted 5-0 at its Monday meeting in approval of sending the Home Rule Charter amendment to the electorate. The council’s approval on second reading formalized a decision it had agreed upon earlier this month.

“What it does is gives council a check-in position for who is being hired for these positions,” said Mayor Steve Skadron.

The City Council currently doesn’t have a say in the hiring for the two positions. Its hiring authority includes the appointment of the city manager, city attorney and municipal judges. It also can sign off on the city manager’s hiring of the clerk and finance director.

The city manager, however, has been tasked with making his own call on the hiring of the police chief and director of Community Development.

Should voters approve the charter amendment, City Council would be able to either approve or reject the city manager’s hiring of future police chiefs and directors of Community Development.

The vote is a result of frustrations expressed by residents earlier this year that the council had no say in the hiring of the director of Community Development, a job that ultimately went to the city’s then-long range planner Jessica Garrow. Both the Planning and Zoning and Historic Preservation commissions interviewed Garrow and another finalist for the job while the council was left out.

City Manager Steve Barwick hired Garrow.

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