Commissioners suspend county manager search
The Grand County Board of Commissioners has suspended its search for a new county manager due to internal conflicts that need to be addressed.
County Commissioner Jane Tollett said she had some “very real concerns” about the Colorado Department of Local Affairs process for selecting a new county manager.
DOLA is delineating a process for selecting a new county manager.
Greg Winkler with DOLA laid out an interview process including various committees comprised of county commissioners, elected officials, DOLA officials and county officials from outside of Grand County to host a series of interviews with potential candidates.
DOLA had received 52 letters of interest for the position and 30 applications, Winkler said.
The process could possibly see the county with a new manager by the beginning of June, Winkler said.
“I’m having second thoughts about the whole process here because I think the issues that we’re having here in the county are not going to be solved by bringing in a new county manager,” Tollett said. “I think we’re having leadership issues, and we’re expecting this person to work miracles. That’s not going to happen.”
Tollett’s concerns centered on what she claimed were existing problems in county leadership.
“I don’t have that delusion,” Winkler said. “I hope no one else does. I’m going to try to bring in a professional, I’m going to try to bring five professionals for you to tell who is going to be best.”
Tollett said the issue wasn’t with DOLA and asked County Attorney Alan Hassler whether the board could hold an executive session to discuss the reason’s why she wanted to stop the process.
Hassler responded that there wasn’t a legal justification for holding the discussion in executive session.
Commissioner Kris Manguso said she wanted to move forward with the process.
“This person will not be a miracle worker,” Manguso said. “I don’t expec them to be a miracle worker, but I do believe a strong, experienced leader will help the county as a whole. I don’t expect them to come in and make everything ok. That’s not how that works.”
Winkler said diverging sentiments on the board could muddle the process.
“If I don’t have you guys on the same page, going the same way, and if we don’t have some kind of relationship of understanding of what were trying to accomplish here, then I can bring in the finest professional manager and the first thing I’m going to tell the guy is to make sure he gets a good contract becuase you’re going to throw him out within an year,” Winkler said. “And that’s not fair to anybody.”
Winkler said DOLA was trying to bring in an individual that cares about Grand County.
“Id like to discuss in executive session why I am stopping the search,” Tollett said.
“I’m stopping the process, then. I don’t have to give an explanation.”
Tollett said she felt there was a group “trying to tear the commissioners apart.
“I refuse to go further until we can fix how we’re working, get rid of outside influences and people who are trying to tear us and the county apart, and under no circumstances do I want to bring somebody else into this mix,” Tollett said.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.
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