Sole candidate to run Routt County Regional Building Department turns job down

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— After the only finalist for the job turned it down last week, Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan is preparing this week to advertise, for a third time, the opening for an experienced building department official to run the Routt County Regional Building Department.

“The applicant didn’t take the job,” an obviously disappointed Sullivan said Monday, telling the Routt County Board of Commissioners, “It doesn’t seem it was salary that was the issue, it was benefits.”

That was in spite of the fact that the finalist was offered nearly $100,600, virtually the top of the county’s pay scale for the position.

Sullivan said the applicant (whose name and city of residence were being withheld) was disappointed that he would have to wait a year before he would be eligible for a 401k in Routt County and that the employer match would be 6 percent instead of the 10 percent he was accustomed to.

The applicant also was receiving a monthly housing allowance of $200 a month through state government at his current job and had the use of an employer car, which he would not have had here. He also was used to consistently working four 10-hour days a week and would have received two fewer days of paid vacation annually if he accepted the Routt County job.

The Regional Building Department serves the city of Steamboat Springs as well as Routt County, and the position has been open since March 5 when former building department official Carl Dunham retired.

Sullivan had advance notice of Dunham’s impending retirement but deliberately delayed the search for a replacement because the city and county were in joint talks about the possibility of contracting out the building department’s functions of checking building plans, issuing permits and inspecting buildings in mid-construction.

The commissioners rejected that option in April.

The first two rounds of advertising for the opening produced just the one finalist who was deemed well qualified for the role. The latest round attracted seven applications, and three candidates underwent phone interviews. One of the three removed himself from consideration because his wife would not move to a cold weather city. Two others were interviewed in person, and one of those was deemed unsuitable.

Commission Chairman Tim Corrigan remained optimistic Monday that a strong candidate will still be identified — one who will take the job. He pointed out that in hiring, timing is an important variable. Since the job was last advertised, a number of potential applicants who would be attracted to working in Routt County for the salary being offered may have begun a new job search.

“I think we have the right structure in place, we just haven’t found the right person to put in there,” Corrigan said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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