Eagle launches town manager search
EAGLE — The Eagle Town Board officially announced its town manager vacancy on Monday and anyone hoping to nab the job will have fewer than three weeks to file a completed application.
The formal announcement appeared on the town’s website and on several other digital forums Monday. The deadline for completed application packets is on Jan. 22 at 5 p.m.
The short timeline for the manager opening stands in contrast to Eagle’s last town manager search. When the former town board hired former manager Jon Stavney, the application filing period opened in December of 2012, lasted more than three months and produced 40 applicants. From there, the town board narrowed the list to six semifinalists for interviews in March and then to three finalists in April. The town completed an extensive background check on the three finalists and the entire process took nearly six months.
The Eagle opening has the shortest filing deadline of any of the administrative openings currently listed on the Colorado Municipal League website. The city of Louisville also listed its planning and building safety director opening on Jan. 4 and will accept applications through Feb. 15. The city of Englewood is looking for a director of community development and listed the job on Dec. 19 with an application deadline of Jan. 18. That’s also the application schedule for the town of Silverthorne’s search for a director of finance and administrative services.
Why so quickly?
In response to a series of questions submitted on Tuesday, Eagle Town Clerk and interim town manger Jenny Rankow forwarded a statement from the town board. Noting that the previous town board took several months to conduct the previous town manager search, the town board said it had hired consultant Chris Moffat to assist with the current search.
“Since the town’s last manager search over two years ago, the use of digital advertising for executive positions has grown significantly and has become the norm,” reads the statement. “In reviewing standards and practices, it is commonplace to use digital and social media as well as executive contact lists to seek candidates. The job posting is instantaneous and is a more efficient and cost-effective means for advertising the position. The interview and vetting process is quicker given the many resources available digitally.”
In response to a question about whether or not there is a front-runner for the job, the town board stated, “No candidates have been reviewed at this time.”
A hiring committee consisting of Moffat, select board members and select staff will conduct the process, the town board said.
“There is a process for screening applications designed by the consulting firm and, depending upon the applications and interest received, the review committee intends to begin contacting candidates by the beginning of February to begin the interview process. Depending on the location of successful applicants, initial interviews can take place either in person or via Skype or similar,” said the town board statement.
The board anticipates that the interview process will take approximately two weeks and hopes to make a hiring decision by mid-March. That timetable has potential for controversy.
In April, five of the seven Eagle Town Board seats, including the mayor seat, will be up for election. As prescribed by Colorado statute, the newly seated board will act on the reappointment of town officers, specifically the town manager, town clerk and town attorney. As a result, a newly elected board could dismiss a town manager hired by the current board only weeks prior to the election.
“The town (board) does not subscribe to the notion that we should suspend progress on any tasks, including the manager search, simply because an election is pending,” said the board’s statement.
In its vacancy announcement, the town board described the Eagle Town Manager position as “an excellent opportunity for those with exceptional leadership, communication and management skills seeking challenging employment and desiring a high-quality life style. Eagle is a growing and dynamic municipality, and the Board of Trustees is in search of a progressive, talented and innovative manager who can help guide the town and town staff through expected growth and exciting opportunities forecast for the coming years.
The vacancy announcement also states, “Economic development, sustainability and recreation improvements are in the forefront of the town’s future, both in planning and construction. The town has embarked on a long-term goal of marketing its recreation-based economy, recently ratified an extensive river corridor plan and wishes to maintain its high standards for livability. “
The qualifications list indicates a preference for a master’s degree in business or public administration or the equivalent in relevant experience, progressively responsible management experience, demonstrated ability in developing and achieving organizational goals, sound decision-making skills, financial and budget skills.