Minturn in need of manager

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— The search for somebody to take the place of interim Minturn Town Manager Gary Suiter officially has begun and the process is expected to take a couple months to complete.

Suiter began last week placing ads online and in trade journals seeking out his replacement. His contract with the town - which was extended in December - ends June 30. However, he's told the Town Council he'll stick around if the hiring process doesn't stay on track.

"I don't want to leave them high and dry. I'll stay if I need to," he said. "I fully expect we'll find the council a good candidate for the job."

Suiter, although he has worn the "interim" tag for nearly two years, will leave behind high expectations. He was brought on board after the town's former manager, Ann Capela, resigned. With more than 30 years of management experience, Suiter was the hired gun the town needed while dealing with an annexation proposal from Ginn Co. looming and other normal town business to be dealt with.

"We were kind of in the weeds with the annexation thing," Mayor Pro Tem George Brodin said. "What he came in to do for us was to make sure we were OK."

With a lull in the Ginn process now that the annexation referendum passed, the economy in a murky state and the town's planning department heading the restructuring of Minturn's growth policies, Suiter and the council agree that now is the time to part ways.

"They hired me to do a job, I've done that job, and it's time for me to move on," Suiter said.

Councilman Matt Scherr said he'd rather not see Suiter leave, considering the job he's done, and is hopeful that Suiter will be able to find a replacement who is as knowledgeable and diverse as he is.

"Ginn is still not a done deal," Scherr said. "We'll very likely need a very different kind of person. We will hope by that time we'll see the direction Ginn is going anyway."

The council has set a timeline for the hiring process, which Suiter will lead.

The ads already are out, the filing deadline for applications is April 30, and, by May 8, the plan is to have a pool of candidates who will then be narrowed down through a series of interviews until a job offer is made to somebody sometime around June.

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