Garfield County restates goals in search for new manager
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County commissioners should have a short list of finalist candidates for the county manager position by March 19, and could be ready to conduct interviews the final week of March, according to the consultant who is heading up the job search.”To the extent required by law, there would be some public interviewing of the finalists,” county attorney Andrew Gorgey advised at a special Monday meeting of the Garfield Board of County Commissioners.The list of finalists is also be made public by the commissioners at some point before interviews are scheduled.During the Monday telephone conference meeting with Phil McKenney, from the consulting firm of Peckham & McKenney, commissioners refined the language to be included in a formal job description.The meeting was called after Gorgey acknowledged last week that a Jan. 9 closed-doors meeting covering the same topic should have been conducted in open session.Subsection 3.5 of the Colorado Open Meetings Law states that discussions by elected bodies related to establishing job search goals, including writing of a job description, for a chief executive officer are to take place in an open meeting.Gorgey decided to reschedule the meeting after the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, through its attorney, Steven Zansberg, called attention to the matter.The BOCC is seeking a new county manager following its Jan. 3 decision to fire longtime county manager Ed Green “without cause.” Commissioners said the decision related to their ongoing restructuring of county government, and a desire to be more involved in day-to-day operations.McKenney said the application deadline for the county manager position will be Feb. 27. An initial screening of the applicants is to take place during the first two weeks of March, and he expects to recommend a list of finalists by March 19.”I believe I have a good understanding of the culture of the organization from the last process,” said McKenney, who also headed up the commissioners’ search that led to the hiring of Gorgey as the new county attorney last year.”I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on what’s going on there, and that you would like to have a more open, transparent type of organization,” McKenney said.Commissioners took the opportunity to restate some of their goals in seeking out a new county manager.”A lot of it goes without saying, that we want someone who’s honest and fair, who has integrity, and who is hard-working and loyal to us as a board,” Commissioner Mike Samson said.”I also have to agree with what Commissioner [John] Martin stated … that we are the ones who have to make the tough decisions, and they need to follow through on those decisions,” Samson said.”They have every right as our employee to bring up concerns and offer ideas. But when all is said and done, they need to carry out the decisions made by this board. That’s how it works,” Samson said.Martin suggested that potential applicants should be able to determine from the job description whether it’s a job they would want.”We need to make sure that those who apply understand that, yes, there are challenges, but also recognize the great rewards as well,” he said.Commissioner Tom Jankovsky reiterated that the new county manager should have a strong financial background.”We’re a pretty good-sized county now, with a $100 million annual budget,” he noted. “We need someone who understands the financial side of our business.”
Commissioner Jankovsky also requested at the Monday meeting that the board get back on track with its goal, as stated early last year, to look at possible revisions to the county’s organizational chart.The chart lists what county government functions fall under the county manager, assistant manager and the various county department heads.Jankovsky suggested that the board work to develop a new chart before a new county manager is on board.”I’d rather not continue this for another year under the current organizational chart, especially if some things may not be working,” he said. “I do have concerns about that.”Jankovsky volunteered to begin working with county human resources director Katherine Ross to make some recommendations.County attorney Gorgey said any changes to the organizational chart will require a thorough legal review.”I would ask that you consult with counsel first before proceeding at all,” he said. “I do need some time to prepare and present some options.”The proposed county administrative restructuring would not affect the duties of the various elected department heads, including the county treasurer, assessor, clerk and recorder and sheriff. Those duties are dictated by state firstname.lastname@example.org
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