County administrator search down to three | VailDaily.com

County administrator search down to three

Scott N. Miller

EAGLE – It’s almost decision time.After whittling down a pool of 99 candidates, the top three applicants for the Eagle County administrator’s job will come in Thursday final interviews.The final candidates for the job include the current city manager of Sarasota, Fla., the former director of Denver International Airport, and the assistant city manager of Henderson, Nev.The top candidates are:

• Bruce Baumgartner, 59. Baumgartner was director of aviation at Denver International Airport from 1998 to 2003. Before that, he had worked in various city departments in Denver. He resigned in early 2003 after John Hickenlooper was elected Denver’s mayor.After his career with the city, Baumgartner’s most recent job was president of government services for Construction Management and Development Company of Denver. According to Eagle County records, he is currently unemployed.While he was at the airport, Baumgartner was head of a department of about 1,000 people.

• Michael McNees, 50, city manager of Sarasota, Fla. McNees has had a rough summer.Following a pair of sewage spills that collectively dumped nearly 1 million gallons of waste into a nearby bayou, McNees has come under fire from both the public and his city council.While McNees refused his own annual pay raise – nearly $6,000 – and slashed the raises for two department heads following the spills, he nearly lost his job over the incidents. According to reports in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, the five-member council voted 3-2 in August to keep McNees on the job. While his support on the council seems shaky, comments on a Web log he’s writing – http://srqcm.blogspot.com/ – mostly back the way he’s handled aftermath of the sewage spills.Sarasota is a city of about 50,000 people on Florida’s west coast, south of Tampa.

• James H. Mullen, 62. While his application to the county lists him as unemployed at the moment, his name, photo and profile are still on the Web site for the Henderson, Nev. city government.According to that profile, Mullen was hired by Henderson in 2003. Before that, Mullen was the Colorado Springs City Manager from 1996 to 2002, and was county executive for Prince William County, Va., from 1990 to 1996.Mullen holds a masters degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Narrowing the fieldThe top job at the county opened up in April following the resignation of Jack Ingstad. Ingstad was recently hired for a similar job in Plumas County, Calif. Since Ingstad’s resignation, Keith Montag, head of the county’s planning department, has held the top job.The county posted the job opening in June, and hired The Mercer Group, a Greeley-based company, to sift through the first wave of applications. The Mercer Group narrowed the field to 10, then forwarded that group of candidates to Eagle County. From there, the county commissioners and other officials narrowed the field to six, then to three.The commissioners will conduct the final interviews and will make the decision on which of the three is offered the job, said Nora Fryklund, Eagle County director of human resources.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado