Town manager search for Eagle an ongoing process | VailDaily.com

Town manager search for Eagle an ongoing process

EAGLE — Eagle's town manager search has netted 48 candidates and a thawed reaction from some community leaders.

Questions regarding the search have centered around timing — everything from the mere 18-day posting to a published schedule that calls for the new manager to start work just days before he or she will have to be officially appointed by the newly elected Eagle Town Board. Those issues have resulted in a frosty reception to the search process from many community residents. But last week interim Eagle Town Manager and Town Clerk Jenny Rakow reported the hiring process is "moving along nicely."

"We are very fortunate the timeline and all that has happened that it is working out," she said. "We do have a timeline and we are following it."

The consultant working on the search for Eagle's new town manager released a revised schedule and more details about the process this week, but the plan still calls for the current town board to hire the new leader prior to the April 5 municipal election.

That's been something of a rub for residents around town who note that after the election, Eagle will have a new mayor and at least three new board members. What's more, one of the first things that the newly elected board must take action on is to vote whether or not to retain the town manager. That means a new manager, hired only days before, could find his or herself without a job if the new board doesn't agree with the hiring decision made by the current board.

Process detailed

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The new process details, released by consultant Chris Moffet on Tuesday, address the timing issue by noting all the candidates for town board will have the opportunity to weigh in on the hiring decision.

The hiring timeline anticipates that initial screening of the top applicants will be concluded this week and that screening committee interviews will begin sometime next week.

Top candidates will be assessed to identify how well they match with a job profile that was developed by Moffet Consulting after reaching out to a number of community members who currently work with the town manager, all department managers and all current Eagle Town Board members.

The process states that all of the candidates for the town board election April 5 will meet with top candidates identified by the screening committee.

"They will have the opportunity to learn the candidates' backgrounds, skills, job-model fit and reasons for their status as top candidates," states Moffet's memo. "They will be able to ask questions so that they feel they each have a thorough knowledge of each candidate."

The top candidates are slated to participate in a community meet-and-greet in mid-March and the current town board is still slated to make the hiring decision and conduct contract negotiations by March 25. The new manager is slated to start work April 1.

"Exciting candidates"

Last week, the Eagle Town Board discussed the hiring process.

"It sounds like we are getting some exciting candidates," said town board member Sarah Baker.

Mick Daly, president of the Eagle Chamber of Commerce, noted he had a lengthy conversation with Moffet.

"That's given me a very great degree of comfort and confidence that at the end of the process, we will come out with a person who will be our next town manager," Daly said.