Farrar hired as Basalt interim town manager
The Basalt Town Council hired longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident, government worker and consultant Davis Farrar as its interim manager until a headhunting search is expected to produce a full-time manager in June.
The council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to hire Farrar at $80 per hour for three days per week. He will not get benefits. Farrar said he would continue to work for the town of Collbran two days per week as an interim administrator, a post similar to a town manager.
Farrar has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1979. His posts included working as town manager of Carbondale from 1982 to 1995. He is currently owner of Western Slope Consulting, which specializes in land-use planning, management and public processes.
The town is seeking a manager after the abrupt departure of Mike Scanlon in August. He canceled his contract after ongoing disputes with some members of the council. Scanlon is seeking a severance package, but no deal has been reached.
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The executive recruitment firm Peckham & McKinney was hired in December to search for a permanent replacement. It’s anticipated that a new manager won’t be appointed until June, council members said Tuesday night.
Ron Miller, a former manager of Aurora, was hired as interim manager in October with the understanding he was leaving in early February. Farrar will step into the post Wednesday.
Farrar said he is familiar with many of the issues in Basalt and he reviewed a document from Miller that outlined the major projects active in the town. Nothing on the list, he said, was “over (his) head.”
During brief deliberations, Councilman Auden Schendler asked if the town actually needed to hire another interim manager to get the town by for four months. The other members of the board said that was the right move. Adding the duties to another staff member is too much of a burden, according to council members Katie Schwoerer, Bernie Grauer and Gary Tennenbaum as well as Mayor Jacque Whitsitt.
Along with approving the hiring of Farrar, the council read a proclamation thanking Miller for his months of service. Schendler said Miller effectively got tasks accomplished while in a stopgap position.
“It was a very boat-rocky time when you came on,” Whitsitt said.
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