No rush to replace Eagle County manager |

No rush to replace Eagle County manager

Chris Outcalt
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. ” It could be well into 2009 before Eagle County hires a new administrator, officials said.

The county commissioners asked administrator Bruce Baumgartner to resign the first week of December and said this week they’re in no rush to find his replacement.

“I don’t think it’s out of the question that we might go for some time in 2009 (without a replacement),” Commissioner Sara Fisher said.

Fisher said the board plans to start looking for a replacement in January. Community Development Director Keith Montag is serving as the acting county administrator.

“What we’ve agreed to is that we’re going to put it all on hold until after the new year and wait for Jon (Stavney) to get on board,” Fisher said.

Stavney, who will replace Commissioner Arn Menconi in January, said he’s in no rush to find a new administrator, either.

“We’re not in a hurry as far as I’m concerned,” said Stavney. “We have a very competent interim manager that’s done this before.”

Stavney said he thinks being new to the county will be an advantage while going through the process of hiring a new administrator.

“For me, it will be a wonderful learning experience,” he said.

Commissioner Peter Runyon did not return calls seeking comment.

Fisher said cost savings could be a consideration while trying to find a replacement. Baumgartner’s annual salary was $160,633 a year. He also received a $304 bi-weekly car allowance. The commissioners are still negotiating Baumgartner’s severance package and it’s unclear at what point leaving the position vacant would produce savings, said Communications Director Kris Friel.

But the county might want to avoid paying both the severance package and the salary of a new administrator, Fisher said.

“I think we’ll want to minimize expending double funds,” she said.

The county budgeted nearly $300,000 in savings from leaving four positions vacant ” two of the positions were eliminated and two will remain vacant.

The commissioners still have to approve a final budget. The board has a special meeting scheduled for Monday to vote on the proposed 2009 budget.

The commissioners also recently asked Human Resources Director Nora Fryklund to resign. Fryklund made $114,419.

Montag and the rest of the human resources department is covering Fryklund’s duties.

Fisher said the board has considered hiring an interim human resources director.

“We have had some conversations, but haven’t confirmed anything or made any offers,” she said.

Eagle County encompasses a portion of the Interstate 70 corridor, including Vail and Beaver Creek, as well as a sliver of the Roaring Fork Valley, including El Jebel, Missouri Heights and part of Basalt.

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