Finalist John Schneiger nabs Eagle manager job
EAGLE — It took about an hour and a half of additional executive session conversation, but members of the Eagle Town Board emerged from a closed-door session May 4 and unanimously voted to hire John Schneiger — the top candidate identified through a town manager search conducted by the previous town board.
Schneiger will earn $126,000 annually and begin work May 16. He also will receive a $10,000 housing and relocation allowance, a $500 per month automobile allowance and health and retirement benefits that are available for all town employees. The complete details of the two-year contract can be viewed on the town’s website as part of the April 26 town board packet.
Town Board members initially discussed the employment contract last week, but opted not to vote on the matter because two members were missing and traditionally Eagle likes to have a full board when making far-reaching decisions. But the trouble with the full board goal is other members have already announced planned absences in May. That prompted plans for a special meeting. Town Board member Andy Jessen was not present for Wednesday’s meeting, but he previously expressed his support for Schneiger’s hiring.
While four members of the seven-member Eagle Town Board were either elected or re-elected earlier this month, they did not have time to dally about the manager decision. Because Eagle is a statutory town, the board has to name its officers — manager, clerk, treasurer, attorney and judge — within 30 days of new members taking office.
The three new members of the board — Paul Witt, Mikel “Pappy” Kerst and Matt Solomon — stated shortly after taking their oaths of office that they were not yet prepared to make a decision regarding the Schneiger hiring at the April 26 meeting. After Wednesday’s lengthy executive session discussion, they were convinced it was the right thing to do.
Schneiger was the Fruita city manager from 1992 to 2000 and the Montrose city manager from 2000 to 2005. Most recently, he served as the manager of New Port Richey, Florida. He left the job abruptly, citing tremendous financial challenges at the community that required unpopular cutbacks including layoffs.
“I know there has been some things in the press about what happened down there, but I am actually very proud of the work I did there. It was a borderline bankruptcy position I was able to pull them out of,” said Schneiger.
“It’s an honor to come and work for a community like Eagle,” said Schneiger after Wednesday’s announcement. He noted he was looking forward to working with the Town Board and staff.
“I will do a good job for you, I promise,” Schneiger said.
On Friday, 29-year-old Casey Williamson was among 11 killed when their skydiving plane crashed and burned at a coastal airfield on the island of Oahu. It was the worst civilian aviation accident in the U.S. since 2011.