Finance director moving on

Taylor's departure reveals differences with city manager

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— Friday was the last day at work for Don Taylor, Steamboat Springs' director of finance. Taylor, who has managed the city's growing budget for seven years, said he "found out" in late June he would leave City Hall.

"I decided to look for other opportunities, and that it was time to leave city government," Taylor said Friday. "But I hope to stay here in Steamboat."

Taylor leaves City Hall with a $12 million balance in Steamboat's budget, which includes more than $48 million in projected expenditures this year.

While Taylor and Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said the decision to leave was Taylor's, City Manager Alan Lanning - who ultimately handles personnel issues for city staff - gave a different view Friday.

"I asked Don to find another position," Lanning said. "I think I would just call it a difference in philosophy. That's the way I'll describe it.

"There are a number of things that happened along the course of the year that demonstrated to me that we had a difference in philosophy," Lanning continued.

Reached on vacation, Lanning said after a year as city manager he now is starting to formulate his "own team" of people who share his views and working philosophy.

In any office, he added, there are people who share your views and those who don't.

"Those people who don't are difficult to have around," Lanning said. "Everybody sort of has to have their own team put together."

Lanning said there soon could be other changes to city staff.

"There may be some other shuffling, yes," he said. "I don't know exactly what that's going to look like, but I'm sure that sooner or later there will be some other shuffling."

Lanning said part of the changes could involve shifting current staff to other departments and adding new positions.

"It's a workforce issue. We're going to add some positions to planning, such as a housing specialist/planner, and to public works," Lanning said. "We're going to add some code enforcement people in public works."

A code enforcement staff member would enforce city policies such as recently adopted revisions to the city's vacation home rental ordinance.

Also, the city's Green Team plans to ask for a sustainability coordinator in next year's budget.

DuBord said the city has hired a recruitment firm to find a replacement for Taylor, who city staff honored Wednesday at a going-away party at Sunpie's Bistro on Yampa Street.

"He's leaving on good terms with the city," DuBord said of Taylor. "Don's a consummate professional and a good accountant. It's been a good relationship, and we wish him well."

Bob Litzau, the city's assistant finance director, will serve as interim finance director until a replacement is found.

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

housepoor 7 years, 4 months ago

maybe Don didn't agree with the 'urbanization' direction the the City Manager would like to see us go?

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Richard Levy 7 years, 4 months ago

Hmm, I hope this is not the begining of a house cleaning. Don Taylor's 7 years gives him more tenure than any of our recent City Managers. I imagine there's a lot of long term city employees that will out last this manager too

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addlip2U 7 years, 4 months ago

"I asked Don to find another position," Lanning said. "I think I would just call it a difference in philosophy. That's the way I'll describe it. "

I found this, public made, comment (above) by the City Manager rather unprofessional. It could have been left as Don is leaving for other opportunities.

Unfortunately this is creating a very uncomfortable working environment for the rest of the city staff.

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