Trustees narrow search for manager

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— Five applicants were chosen from a field of nine to be interviewed for the Oak Creek town manager job, but trustees hope they'll be able coax them to make the trip and then find a place to live.

"The top three of the applicants have experience," Oak Creek Mayor Deb Van Gundy said.

What they don't have is a free ticket to come to Oak Creek to interview.

The top three hail from New Mexico, Wyoming and Florida. Oak Creek trustees decided the town couldn't afford to pay for a plane ride for the applicants to come to interview for the job.

"I would suggest that anyone we invite here that they know no one is paying their bills," Trustee Mike Kien said.

Van Gundy said in a town meeting on Dec. 14 she hoped the town's inability to pay for the trip won't deter the best applicants from the job.

If one of the applicants does fill the position, they will not be required to live in Oak Creek. The trustees decided that the availability of housing and that an out-of-towner might rather live closer to Steamboat Springs may make the job less appetizing for the applicant if they were required to live in town.

The trustees originally contemplated making a requirement that the town manager would have to live in south Routt County but changed their minds.

"If we're going to have a resident requirement, it should be in the city limits of Oak Creek, not in south Routt. But that won't work so we should open it up to anywhere," Kien said.

But the new town employee will be encourage to find a place in Oak Creek.

"If it is at all possible, they should live in Oak Creek," Trustee Charlie Bevan said. "But if they can't find anything here that suits them and they find a place in Steamboat they like, it doesn't bother me."

The board agreed.

The applicants will be contacted this week and Van Gundy said she hoped to have the interviews happen sometime in early January.

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