Aspen considering local search for new city manager |

Aspen considering local search for new city manager

Sarah S. Chung

The search for a new city manager has only just begun, but City Council members have expressed a desire to focus on local candidates.

City Manager Amy Margerum announced last week that she will be leaving her post to become a senior vice president at The Aspen Institute. Margerum will start her new job on Jan. 1.

“I was caught by surprise by Amy’s decision and we haven’t had much time to think about it,” said Councilman Terry Paulson. “But I think it would be fair to say we’re leaning toward keeping it local.”

Time constraints are one reason a national search is unlikely, said Councilman Tom McCabe. Another reason for delving into the local applicant pool is that the city won’t be able to offer employee housing with the position, McCabe added.

“There’s plenty of good talent both locally and regionally, so that makes us confident we’ll find someone very well qualified,” McCabe said.

But for Paulson, the most compelling reason for a local search is the familiarity with the city’s political dynamics that a candidate from the area is likely to possess.

“Aspen’s such a complicated community that I think a person from the outside would take a couple of years to get completely up to speed. And I just don’t think the community can afford that,” Paulson said.

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