Two familiar faces vie for city manager’s post
And then there were two.
The field of candidates for the position of Aspen city manager has been winnowed to a pair of familiar government faces – Steve Barwick, assistant city manager in Aspen, and Bill Efting, Avon town manager and a former assistant city manager for Aspen.
When City Council members decided to look for someone familiar with the territory, they weren’t kidding around. The two finalists together bring 13 years of experience as City Manager Amy Margerum’s right-hand man.
Barwick has been an assistant city manager in Aspen for the past six years and was previously finance director in Vail. Before Efting headed to Avon, he was an Aspen assistant city manager from 1989 to 1996. He was parks director in Aspen before that. The two finalists know each other, having worked together at City Hall for some three years.
“Both are very knowledgeable about the city and would do a great job,” said Margerum, who hired both men.
As one of two top contenders for the post, Barwick said: “I feel quite honored, especially considering the field of candidates.”
Efting wryly noted that, if he is hired, he’ll be grappling with some of the same problems he dealt with before he left Aspen three years ago.
“Aspen was hard to leave, but it was a good opportunity to work somewhere else and compare notes on different approaches to getting things done,” Efting said. “I’m excited about the prospect of coming back and looking forward to seeing the rest of the process through.”
The next step for Barwick and Efting are interviews with the various city department heads.
“I haven’t made a final decision in my mind,” said Mayor Rachel Richards. “Both are very qualified candidates and I’m looking forward to listening to the input of the staff.”
Margerum is leaving the city manager’s post to take a post with The Aspen Institute on Jan. 1.
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Aspen voters will be asked to extend a sales tax this fall that supports funding for public schools.