Wednesday, January 8, 2003
Steamboat Springs City officials have honed their search for a new city planning director to four finalists, all hailing from the western United States and most coming from cities larger than Steamboat Springs.
This week, the city is meeting with the applicants from Hawaii, Montana, Colorado and Arizona. City Human Resources Manager John Thrasher said a decision should be made in the next two weeks.
One of the applicants, David Blane, was the director for the office of planning for the state of Hawaii. Before that, he was the director of planning for the County of Maui. He also has experience in the private sector in development and construction.
Thrasher said Blane left the head state position after the governor's term limits expired this year.
Coming from Great Falls, Mont., finalist Robert Horne is the planning director for the Great Falls City and County Planning Board. Before that position, Horne was the planning director in Jackson, Wyo.
The only Colorado finalist is Steve Stamey, who is the planning director for Erie and was the planning director in Estes Park before that position.
The final applicant is Kroy Ekblow, from Scottsdale, Ariz. Thrasher said Ekblow has spent his entire planning career in Scottsdale.
He is now the general manger for Scottsdale's planning and development services.
Each finalist will meet with City Council members, department heads and the city's interviewing committee this week, Thrasher said. City officials will also perform background checks before making a final decision.
But because the city operates under a home-rule charter, the ultimate decision lies in the hands of City Manager Paul Hughes.
The four finalists were narrowed down from a group of more than 50 applicants who had applied for the position, which has been advertised since mid-October. From those 50 applications, the interviewing committee narrowed the list to 22 applicants who were asked to do video interviews.
The planning director's position has been vacant since Nov. 15 when Wendie Schulenburg resigned to take the Community Planning Director position in Gilroy, Calif. Assistant Planning Director Tim McHarg has been overseeing the department since Schulenburg's departure.
As the city did three years ago when it hired Schulenburg, an interview committee was put in place.
It includes Planning Commission Chair Kathi Meyer, Architect Jan Kaminski, developer John Peddie, Dace Carver, City Planner Tom Leeson, City Public Works Director Jim Weber and Hughes.