City search group sought

Six people needed to find new manager

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council is looking for six community members to join a committee that, along with an executive search firm, will help the city select its next city manager.

Applications for the City Manager Search Committee are available from City Clerk Julie Jordan and are due by Aug. 13. Jordan can be reached at 871-8231. Acting City Manager Wendy DuBord said council members hope to interview and select the committee at an Aug. 19 work session devoted solely to a discussion of what the City Council wants in its next city manager.

"That's why we're having this meeting, to decide what we're looking for," DuBord said. "This is their only employee other than their contract with the city attorney."

Phil McKenney of Sacramento, Calif.-based executive search firm Peckham & McKenney also will attend the Aug. 19 meeting. McKenney aided in the hiring of former City Manager Alan Lanning, who reached a severance agreement with the City Council earlier this month. McKenney also participated in the two biggest hires of Lanning's two-year administration - Finance Director Lisa Rolan and Public Works Director Philo Shelton.

DuBord said the city's goal is to identify Lanning's replacement within six months, as the City of Steamboat Springs Home Rule Charter calls for:

"The Council shall appoint by majority vote of the entire Council a City Manager as soon as possible but within six months after any vacancy exists in such position. The Manager shall be appointed with regard to fitness, competency, training and experience in professional urban administration."

The committee's configuration will differ from the one that helped the previous City Council hire Lanning. In the 2006 city manager search, the city seated a committee that included one city employee, a community member at-large and one member each from four interest areas in the community. The interest areas were recreation; environmental health and historic preservation; health and human services; and business.

"This time we decided just to get six people not aligned with anybody but just good folks," Councilman Scott Myller said.

The city estimates committee members' time commitment at about two hours a week for four to six weeks, but DuBord noted that different stages of the process, such as the interview and resume review stages, will require more time.

During his time in City Hall, Lanning rearranged or consolidated several city departments - adding staff to Planning and Finance - while dealing with contentious issues such as historic preservation and the city's watershed protection ordinance.

But the current City Council raised questions about Lanning's performance, specifically customer service and interaction with the community and council.

In the next city manager, council members and DuBord said the city will look for someone with exceptional interpersonal skills, a good handle on economic development and experience with a budget and staff of approximately the same size as that of the city's.

Councilman Steve Ivancie described the ideal city manager as someone who the council gives "clear direction, and who goes out and gets things done."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210 or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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