Town manager idea subject of public meeting


— The next step in the Oak Creek Board of Trustees' objective to hire a town manager is will be taken at a special meeting next week.

The town has invited the regional field manager of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Cathy Shipley, and Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel to talk to the board and the public about the town manager position.

"A lot of the meeting is going to be about how we will go about doing this," Mayor Deb VanGundy said.

Trustees also instructed acting treasurer Nancy Stahoviak to collect job descriptions and salaries of town managers from around the state for the board to review. From that information, the trustees will attempt to forge their own job description, which will include the responsibilities of the treasurer.

Because of the combined positions, Stahoviak speculated that the person for the job will need strong financial experience.

"I think that every town that has a town manager has it set up a little differently," Stahoviak said.

Shipley agreed and added that each town also has different needs that justify having a town manager.

However, towns making the move to create the position usually need someone to oversee finances and administrative duties in all departments, she said.

"Without a person over that, it's difficult," Shipley said.

Though she wasn't completely familiar with Oak Creek's specific challenges, Shipley said money usually is the biggest hurdle that towns face when creating the position.

"How you pay for it is an issue you're going to have to grapple with," she said.

Of the job descriptions and salaries collected, Hayden and Kremmling's are probably the most comparable, since they're similar in size to Oak Creek, Stahoviak said. In Hayden, the town manager position starts at $41,500 and tops out at $48,000. The Kremmling position starts at $40,000 and goes to $60,000.

Oak Creek trustees had thrown around the figure of $50,000 when they first began discussing salaries, but that was just to get a figure to start with.

"They'll find someone to do that job for that much," County Commissioner Dan Ellison said.

Ellison was Hayden's manager from 1984 to 1994. Though he was part time and was paid around $20,000 a year at that position, the benefit of having him find available grant money to cover the cost of town projects and have the time to administrate them paid for the position.

"I paid for may salary 10 time over with the grants that I got," he said.


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