Kremmling’s new town manager resigns citing safety concerns surrounding resident’s recent arrest
Just over three weeks after becoming Kremmling’s newest town manager, David Stahl resigned from his position late last week citing safety concerns among other issues.
In his letter of resignation to the Kremmling Town Board, Stahl cited recent events and his concerns about his personal safety and the safety of other town employees as the reason for his departure.
“The events of the past few days have made it obvious a continuation of this relationship is not in either parties’ best interest,” Stahl wrote in his resignation letter. “My concern for my personal safety and well being is paramount and the safety of the employees are of grave concern for me and should also (sic) the highest priority for the Board of Trustees.”
Stahl was selected as Kremmling’s town manager earlier this year, replacing former town manager Mark Campbell whose tenure was terminated in April. Stahl’s first day was Sept. 17. He submitted his letter of resignation Oct. 10 and his final day was two days later.
Stahl noted in his letter of resignation that the events surrounding Kremmling resident Robert Mark Smith’s arrest earlier this month confirmed “that confidentiality and the lack of seriousness for the scheduled actions were not of the utmost priority for some staff members and others in the community.”
Stahl told Sky-Hi News on Wednesday that he believed someone in the community informed Smith of the planned police action prior to his arrest, which involved several officers from the sheriff’s department, Kremmling Police and other agencies and led to a search of Smith’s home.
“The fact that members of the community may have known about potential law enforcement activity that was going to occur in the future jeopardized the safety of individuals that work for the town, not only on the public administration side, but also on the law enforcement side,” Stahl told Sky-Hi News. “I have no idea who. I would give you a name if I knew one. All I know is the information was out there and it jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the residents, as well as the employees of the town of Kremmling.”
Stahl further stated in his letter of resignation that he believes the current situation has “created a high degree of probability that someone could (sic) seriously injured in the immediate future.”
Stahl placed the entire incident in context of code enforcement and code revisions, which he called “the most contentious subject in the United States in any municipality.” He said he believed that the town of Kremmling’s codes are not being enforced “on an equitable basis.”
While he gave no specific instances of such actions, he added that Kremmling needs to have a policy that requires equitable enforcement.
“Just because you say you want to do code enforcement doesn’t necessarily mean you are willing to accept or deal with the ramifications of code enforcement on an equitable basis,” he explained.
Stahl said he believes that code enforcement should be part of a town’s administrative department and not the law enforcement.
Officials from the town of Kremmling confirmed Stahl’s resignation earlier this week, but gave no other comment. Kremmling Town Clerk Rhonda Shearer said the town board plans to address the issue at its Wednesday night regular meeting and that an official statement from the board would follow the meeting.
Just months before taking the job in Kremmling, Stahl “abruptly” resigned from his position as town manager of Dolores, a town of about 1,000 people located northwest of Durango, according to The Journal.
It was reported that Stahl resigned after alleging that three town board members violated Colorado’s Sunshine Law while preparing for an interview process for town positions.
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