Outgoing Eagle board names manager favorite
EAGLE — The outgoing Eagle Town Board can’t officially hire a new town manager, but on their way out the door Tuesday said they’re only talking with John Schneiger, one of their two finalists.
The current board made the announcement over the objections of some incoming board members.
“I would wait, especially when considering the new manager will have four new board members to deal with,” said Paul Witt, who returns to the board after four years away.
Negotiations will continue with Schneiger, although a final deal has not yet been reached, said Ed Sands, the town’s attorney.
The new board — three new members and two re-elected members will fill the seven-member board — will make the final decision after they’re sworn in April 26.
While the current board made its opinion clear, it falls to the incoming board to make the hire, Sands said.
“It is not legally binding to the new board,” Sands said during Tuesday’s discussion.
‘Tempest in a teapot’
In a split decision, the current board accepted the resignation of former Town Manager Jon Stavney, which brought livid Eagle residents storming the Town Board’s following meeting.
Geoff Grimmer called the current board’s critics “the vocal minority.”
Outgoing Mayor Yuri Kostick said the uproar came from “a small minority” and was “a tempest in a teapot.”
Kostick said the current board had never intended to hire a new manager before it left office.
“That was never the intention that this board has had,” Kostick said.
Mayor-elect Anne McKibbin has been part of the committee negotiating with Schneiger.
“The intention was never to try to hire someone tonight,” McKibbin said Tuesday. “We’re just trying to get things teed up for the new board, so they can run in any direction they wish, from moving forward from here or starting from scratch,” McKibbin said.
Sarah Baker, one of those who voted to accept the negotiated resignation of former Manager Stavney, is on the committee negotiating with Schneiger. Baker missed her last Town Board meeting on Tuesday. She was eligible to run for another term but didn’t.
Gone also are Town Board members Grimmer and Kostick.
Coming in are returning board members Kevin Brubeck, who attracted the most votes in last week’s election; Mikel “Pappy” Kerst, who brings 10 years of town board experience back to the panel; Witt and his four years of Town Board experience; and Mayor McKibbin, who served four years on the Town Board and eight years on the town’s planning board. Matt Solomon, who owns Alpine Arms, is the only Town Board rookie among the new board members.
The outgoing board members scheduled a work session at 4 p.m. next Wednesday to get the incoming board “up to speed.”
Board members make $250 a month. The mayor is paid $400 a month.
Schneiger has about 23 years of government experience. He spent eight years as the Fruita city manager and five years managing Montrose.
His high profile departure from managing New Port Richey, Florida, came after a month when Schneiger was either “on leave or on vacation,” according to an Oct. 2, 2012, Tampa Tribune story.
New Port Richey was in tough financial straits, Schneiger told the Vail Daily in an earlier written statement.
“Upon starting the position and analyzing the finances, the situation turned out to be much worse than anticipated,” Schneiger wrote. “It appeared that without proactive management and major cutbacks to the budget that there was a likelihood the state would take over the administration of the city in approximately two years. The cutbacks, including layoffs, were my responsibility.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.