Manager search progresses

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— For the first time, the city will hire a company to help find a top administrator, said John Thrasher, human resources manager.

Paul Hughes, city manager for 7 1/2 years, last month announced plans to retire, but he agreed to stay on the job until his replacement is hired.

Recruiting companies have become effective enough that hiring one appeared to be a better option than conducting the search, Thrasher said.

The City Council unanimously approved a request for proposals drafted in mid-November; proposals are due Friday. Thrasher said he and city officials plan to meet Monday to review proposals from about six companies before the next council meeting.

The request outlines officials' requirements for the search process, which include meeting with the City Council for direction and developing a profile of an ideal city manager. The winning company would advertise for the position, review applications and select 15 or fewer semi-finalists.

City Council President Pro-tem Susan Dellinger said Wednesday that deciding what is ideal in a city manager would be a group decision for the council.

City Council members likely will not be the only group to help define what qualities the new city manager should possess, Thrasher said. Also participating may be some city staff members, as well as a committee of community members.

Hughes has 21 years of experience in city management, including positions in the Vermont cities of Ludlow, Stowe and Windsor. He has said that he plans to retire from city management and pursue another career in Steamboat.

-- To reach Dana Strongin call 871-4229 or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com.

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