The Pueblo Chieftain (Colorado)
BYLINE: Peter Roper, The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.
Hiring a new city manager is always complicated and City Council is learning that firsthand.
They agreed Monday night to reopen the manager search through Aug 31. The panel hopes to add more well-qualified candidates to the stack of applications that already have come in.
The city first advertised the job after former City Manager Jerry Pacheco resigned in late May and 32 people applied by June 30.
Council’s problem is about a dozen applicants didn’t meet any of the city’s basic requirements and a similar number only partially met them.
As of Monday, council had whittled the list of 32 applicants down to 13 that met the qualifications and had the interest of at least one council member.
Still, others wanted more choices.
A week ago, Councilmen Steve Nawrocki and Chris Nicoll both said they wanted the search reopened.
“It sounds good to say that we’ve received 32 applications, but that’s really not the case,” is the way Councilman Leroy Garcia put it Monday night.
So the search will go on but council did draw the line with an Aug. 31 deadline. In doing so, they turned away interim City Manager Jim Munch’s suggestion they might want to keep the search process openended until they have an acceptable number of potential managers.
“I don’t like that idea,” Council President Chris Kaufman said. “If I were among the finalists being considered, I wouldn’t want to hear that other candidates were still being added.”
Council also agreed to have the city send a rejection letter — albeit a nice one — to all the applicants who simply didn’t meet any of the requirements. They still intend to pick three finalists by Oct. 9 and hire a new manager at the Nov. 26 meeting.
As for all those hopeful applicants, council is keeping their names confidential until it selects the three finalists for interviews in Pueblo the week of Nov. 12.
Council was stunned by the news Monday that wind turbine maker Vestas had laid off employees and the panel members said they knew no layoff details.
Copyright 2012 The Pueblo Chieftain