Town advertises top job

Staff: Manager may not be replaced until March

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After the Oct. 9 resignation of Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel, the folks at Town Hall already have begun their search for his replacement. However, staff members say they may not have the position filled until March.

Straebel accepted a town manager position for the Village of Taos Ski Valley, N.M. After almost six years of service in Hayden, Nov. 7 will be his last day. The town will hold a reception for him from 2 to 5 p.m. that day.

The town has begun advertising for the open position in the "Colorado Job Finder," a bi-monthly publication produced by the Colorado Municipal League, Town Clerk Lisa Johnston said. The publication is distributed to all municipalities in the state, and the town of Hayden's ad first appeared in the Oct. 15 issue.

The town also has listed the job opening on the International City/County Management Association Web site. Most city and county managers and future city and county managers are part of the organization, Johnston said.

The town plans to advertise in newspapers beginning next week, Johnston said.

The town has received only two resumes, but it will continue to advertise until the third week of November, Johnston said. At that time, the town hopes to have formed a review committee, as it has done in the past, to review and narrow the list of candidates to be interviewed for the position.

The committee will consist of one member of the Hayden Planning Commission, one town employee and four community members. The town is seeking letters of interest from residents who would like to be a part of the committee. Letters of interest should be addressed to Mayor Chuck Grobe, c/o Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.

Considering the growth-planning efforts the town is involved with now, Grobe said, the ideal candidate will have planning and grant-writing experience.

"We want it all, and we don't want to pay him anything," Grobe joked. "We want the new manager to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Honestly, I'm going to look at the resumes that come in from the ones the community picks out, and pick the strongest one.

"We will look at each one's qualifications, but it's tough because we're kind of an entry-level place. We'll go through the process, and do it the same way we've done it in the past."

Also, the candidate must have bachelor's degree, and preferably a master's degree in public administration or a related field, Johnston said.

"We're not going to hire a ski bum," Johnston said. "We want somebody who will spend at least three years here with the town.

"It's a very important position. We want to make sure we have the right person for the job."

Straebel was paid $56,000 per year, and the town is offering $45,000 to $55,000 for a new town manager. Of course, pay is negotiable, Grobe said. The manager's salary will be determined by the Town Board.

Grobe said Straebel was paid $56,000 after several raises over the years, which were given to him for the experience and connections he gained while in office.

"We're hoping we can get somebody in the job by the first of February, but with holidays it will be tough, so it could be first of March," Grobe said. "It will be a big load on everybody's shoulders while Rob is gone. We're looking forward to the challenge and hope town can bear with us."

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