Steamboat Springs David Torgler didn’t spend much time at his previous two jobs, but a former boss said the new Hayden town manager would be an asset to the community.
Claude Lois is the former mayor of Burlington, Wis., a city of more than 10,000 in southeast Wisconsin where Torgler was city administrator from 1999 to 2007. Lois said he was instrumental in a number of city projects during his tenure.
Lois, who was mayor of Burlington from 2000 to 2008 and was a member of the city council before that, said Torgler jumped into his position with both feet. Lois said he expects Torgler to do the same in Hayden.
“I just think he’s a talented individual,” Lois said. “He’s extremely smart. He’s got some planning background. He’s got some business background. He knows how to get people rallied behind him. And most importantly, he knows how to get things done, which is so hard nowadays with the political climate.”
Torgler formally accepted the position as Hayden’s town manager last week. He is scheduled to start Jan. 3 and will make $75,000 annually plus benefits. He replaces former Town Manager Russ Martin, who left in July after more than six years with Hayden to be town manager in Camp Verde, Ariz.
Torgler last worked as the city administrator for Leavenworth, Wash., from January 2009 to December 2009. Before that, from August 2007 to September 2008, he was the town manager of Winter Park.
Interim Town Manager Lance Stewart and Hayden Mayor Lorraine Johnson have said Torgler’s short tenure in his previous two positions was taken into consideration. They said they were comfortable with Torgler after understanding the circumstances that led to his leaving not long after starting in Leavenworth and Winter Park.
Torgler said last week that he was fired in Leavenworth but never told why. In Winter Park, Torgler said, a lack of communication led to him and the Town Council heading in different directions, and both sides agreed that he would resign.
Leavenworth Mayor Rob Eaton couldn’t be reached for comment. Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson said the Town Council didn’t have a comment.
Torgler said last week that he was excited about becoming Hayden’s town manager.
“It’s a stand-alone community. It provides full services,” he said. “It has, like every stand-alone community has, challenges and opportunities for me to work on. It’s a smaller community, and that’s the type of background I have and the type of community I enjoy working on.”
Torgler expressed enthusiasm about Hayden’s residential areas with existing infrastructure, Yampa Valley Regional Airport and its planned improvements, and the potential of the town’s historic downtown district.
That bodes well for Hayden, Lois said. He said Torgler’s tenure in Burlington was productive.
Although some projects started before he arrived, Lois said Torgler oversaw many during his tenure. He said they included a downtown revitalization and historic district designation. He said 22 buildings were raised, a railroad overpass was a built and a four-lane highway was constructed.
Lois said Torgler stepped up to the plate, making sure many of the projects were completed on time and under budget.
“He’s an excellent leader,” Lois said. “He really tries to get everybody involved. Maybe some people think that’s a bad thing. I think that’s a positive. I think the more people you can get involved in a project and get people behind it, it’s good for you, good for the community.”