Aspen city manager candidate profile distributed nationally

The candidate profile for the next Aspen city manager is complete and a brochure detailing the job is currently being distributed for a national search.

The recruitment brochure, prepared by headhunting firm Peckham & McKenney, details the priorities and challenges the community faces, including affordable housing, communications and public outreach, managed growth, water storage and quality of life, among others.

The brochure also states that the city manager must understand the “needs of the year-round resident and seasonal resident.”

“The new city manager will be an experienced, municipal leader who understands the delicate resort and community balance that makes Aspen unique and challenging,” according to the brochure. “The city manager is a public servant, a collaborative problem solver, skilled listener and a champion of transparent and customer service oriented government.”

The city also is looking for a candidate who can foster civility, has political wisdom, is resilient and has the ability to manage complex and stressful situations.

Drew Gorgey, who is handling recruitment for the city, said Tuesday that it will be challenging to find the right fit but is confident it will happen.

“Recruiting into any resort community is difficult because it’s not for everyone but Aspen invested on the front end involving the public,” he said.

The city held community open houses in May to allow members of the public to offer their insights and feedback on the most desirable qualities they’d like to see in the city’s next leader.

Current council members and council-elect, as well as city staff, also were involved early in the process.

“The authentic and candid feedback that helped build the candidate profile was a testament to the community and the public’s level of engagement with this process,” said Alissa Farrell, interim assistant city manager and human resources director.

It has been over two decades since Aspen recruited for a new city manager; Steve Barwick was asked to resign in January after 19 years in the position.

Soon after, Assistant City Manager Sara Ott became interim city manager and has a contract with the city until Sept. 1 to be in that role.

The new city manager will make between $180,000 and $214,000, plus benefits and a housing stipend.

The deadline for candidates to apply is July 8. Interviews will occur over the summer with final interviews taking place Aug. 8 and 9.