Garfield County commissioners reject all county manager finalists
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County commissioners agreed Monday not to hire any of the five county manager finalists who were interviewed for the position last week.The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to postpone hiring a replacement for former county manager Ed Green, who was dismissed by the commissioners in January.Commissioners will instead seek a new slate of candidates from search consultants Peckham & McKenney sometime in the coming months. A specific time line is to be determined.”When we went into this process, we wanted to make sure our head hunter knew exactly what we were looking for, and I believe we accomplished that,” Commission Chairman John Martin said.Martin said the board was looking for a “knock-your-socks off” candidate that all three commissioners could agree to.”If not, we also agreed we needed to continue the search,” he said.Commissioner Mike Samson said any of the five county manager finalists could do the job and were well-qualified.”But that individual also needs to be what [we] feel is the right fit for Garfield County,” Samson said. “I did not feel that any of these five were the right fit.”The decision to pass on the group of finalists follows an extensive round of interviews last Thursday and Friday.That process included multiple interview panels involving all Garfield County elected officials, county government department heads, and a public reception where citizen comments were encouraged. The finalist group had included:• Ronald Teck, intergovernmental operations officer for El Paso County and a former Colorado state senator and Mesa County assessor• Lynda Boswell of Leavenworth, Kan., an international local government consultant with QED LLC and Mercy Corps International• Former Lincoln County, N.M., manager Thomas Stewart• Taos County, N.M., Deputy County Manager Richard Bellis• James Wilson, interim finance director for the city of Altus, Okla.Garfield County Attorney Drew Gorgey will continue as acting county manager for the interim. However, the commissioners expressed concern about stretching Gorgey too thin between the manager and attorney duties until a new county manager can be hired.”I think we need a respite time of perhaps three months before we start the process again,” Samson said. “In doing that, we need to re-evaluate what we’re asking Drew to do.”Gorgey agreed but urged the commissioners to resume the search as soon as possible.”There are multiple executive searches going on” in Colorado and elsewhere, from which additional applicants and potential interviewees for the Garfield County position might be found, Gorgey said.”These are two full-time jobs, and it’s not possible for one person to do them both for an extended period of time,” Gorgey said.He will present some options for sharing the various duties between the two departments to the commissioners at a future firstname.lastname@example.org
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