Oak Creek hires manager

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— After checking references and contacts, Oak Creek Mayor Deb Van Gundy announced Tuesday morning the hiring of Ray Leibensperger as town manager.

Van Gundy said a committee looked into the background of Leibensperger and felt he is the man for the job.

"We feel comfortable with everything we found," Van Gundy said.

Leibensperger, who lives in Florida, has been staying in Oak Creek since Thursday. He was happy with the decision.

"My short-term goal right now is to find a place to live," Leibensperger said.

The Oak Creek Board of Trustees is not forcing the town manager to live in south Routt County but is making it clear that it would like him to live locally.

Leibensperger, 56, said he wants to stay at the position for 10 years and then retire.

He described himself as being pro-police department, hard working and someone who always gets the job done.

"I'm not a quitter," he said.

Leibensperger was chosen out of nine people who applied for the position. His resume states he has nine years of experience as the city clerk and treasurer for Lake Helen, Fla., a town of 2,700 people. At that job, Leibensperger was responsible for overseeing 24 full- and part-time employees, prepared annual budgets for the city, wrote grants and managed city investments.

His resume also states he has 25 years of management history in retail stores and he was the manager of the public works department in Longwood, Fla., from 1971 to 1975. He served as a city commissioner for Longwood in the '70s and the early '80s and was a member of the Navy as a radarman from 1962 to 1965.

Leibensperger is expected to start working in three weeks. He will spend his first week at the job going over the town's budget from this year and last year, looking over all of the town's contracts, meeting individually with every town employee and introducing himself to officials of neighboring towns and communities.

"I have a tremendous amount of interest in Oak Creek," he said, "and I want to see the town prosper."

Oak Creek did not have a town manager previous to Leibensperger being hired. The Board of Trustees identified the need for the position last year in hopes of someone being able to provide some cohesion between the town's departments and to pursue grant money for municipal projects.

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