Grand Lake starts search for new town manager |

Grand Lake starts search for new town manager

Tonya Bina
Grand Lake, CO Colorado
Courtesy photoShane Hale has accepted the job as manager for the city of Cortez.

GRAND LAKE, Colorado – Town Manager Shane Hale has accepted the position as manager of the city of Cortez.

Employed as Grand Lake’s town manager for longer than seven years, Hale accepted the position on Aug. 30 and is planning for an Oct. 14 finish date in Grand Lake.

The Grand Lake Town Board conducted a special meeting on Wednesday evening to formulate a timeline for the town’s upcoming manager search.

“It really is a bittersweet deal,” Hale said. The family decision “would have been a lot easier if we weren’t so happy in Grand Lake.”

Cortez, a home rule city in southwest Colorado with a population of 8,500, poses new challenges for him, he said. Hale will be overseeing 10 times the number of town employees with a staff of about 200 full- and part-time workers there.

“The community itself is great. It seems like a place we would like to live,” Hale said, speaking of the area’s parks, rivers, “educational opportunities” for his children, and farmer’s markets.

Hale said he feels he is leaving Grand Lake on a “strong footing.”

He is most proud “of the fact the town has taken on issues head on and worked through them,” such as a solution to trash problems with a new pay-as-you-throw system, new nightly rental policies and water quality advocacy.

Hale noted how the town was able to continue services in spite of its operating budget cut in half over the past five years. And the town fostered good relations with other local governments and agencies.

“We have a very good working relationship with everybody,” Hale said, “which is a sigh of relief, because there’s a lot of places where that doesn’t happen. I hope that continues for me in my career.”

“We’ve really enjoyed having Shane,” said Grand Lake Mayor Judy Burke. “He’s been a real asset. We tried to bribe him to stay, and he didn’t.

“He’s a young man who’s moving up in his career; we understand the next step is to work for a larger community, something a little more challenging. Although at times, we can be challenging,” she said.

“We wish him the best of luck.”

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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