Four finalists selected for Aspen City Manager job |

Four finalists selected for Aspen City Manager job

Out of a pool of 61 applicants, four have been chosen as finalists to be the next Aspen city manager.

Interim Aspen City Manager Sara Ott made the cut, as did one city attorney for Salt Lake City, a city manager in Coronado, California, and the CEO of a large homeowners association in Truckee that serves as a year-round resort.

After meeting in executive session for three hours earlier this week, Aspen City Council agreed to the four finalists — two men and two women.

The outside candidates are Robb Etnyre, the general manager and CEO of Tahoe Donner in Truckee; Blair King, city manager of Coronado; and Katherine Lewis, senior city attorney for Salt Lake City Corp.

The city will pay for their travel to Aspen, as well as their lodging, so they can be interviewed publicly and privately next week.

As part of their evaluations, the finalists will make public presentations to City Council from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Thursday in the basement of City Hall.

There will be a public meet-and-greet that same day from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the community room at the Aspen Police Department building.

On Aug. 9, City Council will meet in executive session all day and into the evening to interview the candidates privately and discuss among themselves their thoughts.

“The qualities we saw in these candidates exemplified high level managerial skills paired with a cultural understanding of the Aspen area because of their past experience with resort towns,” said Mayor Torre in a statement. “The council was impressed with the energy and initiative that these four candidates possessed with regard to progressive thinking, energy, and initiative for our dynamic community.”

The finalists will be in the hot seat on Thursday when they will make a presentation in front of council related to the Aspen Area Community Plan, which is a guiding principles document that elected officials use when making decisions.

Council will have 10 minutes to provide follow-up questions after each candidates’ presentations.

The public is invited to attend the presentations and then provide feedback via comment cards, or later via email at

The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. Aug. 11.

The public can submit comments in person at a drop-off box that will be located in City Hall at the finance desk on Aug. 8 and 9.

The original profile for the job, including desired qualities in the top candidate, was created with City Council, staff, and community input garnered via email, community meetings, and dedicated listening sessions with the public in May.

“We’re looking forward to the comprehensive interview process next week as we continue to strive to make the process as transparent and as thorough as possible,” said Alissa Farrell, human resources director and interim assistant city manager.

A community panel made up of four individuals also will assess the candidates.

The panel consists of Rich Englehart, Pitkin County deputy manager; Cristal Logan, vice president and director of Aspen Community Programs at the Aspen Institute; Stefan Reveal, senior vice president of Alpine Bank and a member of several volunteer boards; and Pete Louras, also a volunteer on various boards in the community and a retired CEO.

They will interview the candidates privately and provide feedback to Drew Gorgey, who is leading the recruitment effort for Peckham & McKenney, the head hunting firm hired by the city.

Updates on the recruitment process, schedule for the interviews and candidate biographies can be found on the city manager’s page on the city’s website.