Housing post attracts interest | AspenTimes.com

Housing post attracts interest

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Six candidates vying to be director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority are being interviewed this week by government officials.

Thirty-five applicants expressed interest in the position, vacated when former Housing Director Mary Roberts resigned, effective March 1.

From that pool, six individuals – three from Colorado and three from outside the state – were chosen for the initial round of interviews, according to Ed Sadler, assistant city manager. No current Housing Authority staffers applied for the post, he said.

Sadler, along with City Manager Steve Barwick, County Manager Hilary Smith and Cindy Christensen, acting housing director, are conducting the interviews, which will wrap up today. Four of the interviews are being done via conference calls; two candidates came to Aspen for the initial interview.

“We hope to cut the field to two or three people for final interviews in a couple of weeks,” Sadler said.

The position was advertised nationally on the Internet, as well as in newspapers in Denver and locally. The published salary range is roughly $60,000 to $80,000, depending on the candidate’s experience. Roberts’ annual salary was $83,761.

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The national economic downturn has helped boost the number of applicants for the position, according to Sadler.

“It has made a much bigger pool available to us,” he said. “It actually surprised me how many from back East we got.”

The final selection of the director will be up to the city and county managers, according to an agreement reached by the City Council and county commissioners in March. The city and county hope to have the new housing director on the job by mid-June, according to Sadler.

The new housing director will oversee an office staff of 12 and an overall budget that totals about $3 million.