Search for new head of Aspen housing authority narrowed to three |

Search for new head of Aspen housing authority narrowed to three

Three finalists will make their presentations next week in front of APCHA board

Three finalists have been selected as part of a national search for the executive director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority.

The finalists, who hail from Texas and the East Coast, will be making presentations in front of the APCHA board of directors Wednesday during a virtual meeting at 6 p.m.

Board members will be asked to provide feedback that evening via an online survey.

“They are all accomplished folks with prior government experience and it’s wonderful that they all bring something different to the table as far as skills and abilities and backgrounds,” APCHA interim executive director Diane Foster said during the board’s previous meeting Wednesday.

The city of Aspen and Pitkin County in December hired the recruitment firm, GovHR USA, to assist APCHA in searching for a new executive director.

The person in the position will be tasked with overseeing all housing programs, policies and personnel of APCHA, including operations management and finance.

APCHA’s inventory includes just over 3,000 deed-restricted for-sale and rental units, with a combined value of well over $1 billion.

The finalists have been through a robust interview process with the recruiter and staff from APCHA, Pitkin County and the city.

“We started interviewing candidates in April with a focus on finding a highly qualified candidate who is also the right fit for APCHA, the community and the candidate themself,” Foster said in a news release sent Friday. “We’re excited for the APCHA board, staff and our community to virtually ‘meet’ these three outstanding candidates and watch their presentations next week.”

Those interested in attending the event can find the meeting agenda on APCHA’s website. The agenda and link will be posted on Monday.

City Manager Sara Ott and County Manager Jon Peacock will jointly make the final hiring decision.

The new executive director is expected to start in August.

Foster, who is an Aspen assistant city manager, took over APCHA since last August when former executive director Mike Kosdrosky was forced to resign. He was found to have violated Colorado open meetings law in early 2020 when he met behind closed doors with the board asking for a raise.

Kosdrosky was at odds with his boss, Ott, over compensation and APCHA’s governance structure, in which he reported to the city manager but took direction from the board, creating conflicts of interests.

In November of 2019, he told the APCHA board that his job is “untenable” and said he wouldn’t be able to recommend the position to anyone because of the governance structure.

The candidates vying for the position are Jeffrey Arn, Hayden Brodowsky and Matthew Gillen.

Arn has served as executive director with the Norwich Housing Authority in Connecticut since 2018. He previously served as executive director of Vernon Housing Authority and facilities director for the East Hartford Housing Authority.

Brodowsky has served as development service manager for the town of Little Elm, Texas, since 2019. His position includes managing developmental services such as building inspection, code enforcement, engineering, GIS and planning.

He previously served as planning service manager and city planner and historic preservation officer for the city of Abilene.

Gillen has served as a foreign service officer with the United States Department of State since 1998. His position includes being a diplomat in Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Ireland and Chile in various program, policy and management roles.

He also served in policy positions in Washington D.C. in the bureaus of Consular Affairs, European Affairs and as an American Political Science Association Fellow in Congress.

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