Town of Eagle defines ‘ideal’ town manager candidate, search begins soon
EAGLE — Before they announce a position opening, members of the Eagle Town Board want to define what characterizes their ideal candidate for Eagle’s town manager.
The town is working with consultants GovHR and Tim Gagen to complete a position assessment and develop an ideal candidate profile. That work is expected to extend into mid September and will culminate with a position announcement. At that point, the town will consider options related to proceeding with recruitment, as well as a detailed recruitment timetable.
During a Tuesday town board meeting, town staff reported that consultants have competed interviews with town department heads regarding ideal candidate attributes. That effort will now expand out into the community, as a group of select town residents are interviewed about their town manager priorities.
The consultants involved in the effort noted that a typical recruitment effort, which won’t be launched until the ideal candidate profile is completed, takes 90 days from the time a recruiting contract is signed until the time a finalist is appointed.
The timing of the new town manager search starkly contrasts with town’s 2016 process.
That search was launched Jan. 4, 2016, and gave candidates 18 days between the time the position was announced and the completed application deadline. It was the shortest timeline of any of the executive openings listed on the Colorado Municipal League website at the time, with the other openings allowing an average of six weeks for applications.
Several Eagle residents protested the process, noting that the proposed hiring would come immediately before the April municipal election. By law, the town board is required to approve the town manager contract. Residents argued it made more sense to let the newly elected board make the town manager hire.
In response, the previous town board defended the timeline, citing the use of digital advertising for executive openings as the reason.
“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 method for advertising the position. The interview and vetting process is quicker, given the many resources available digitally,” read the town board statement.
Shortly after they launched the expedited process to find a town manager, three of the seven sitting town board members announced they would not be seeking re-election. A fourth member of the board resigned his seat three months later.
Last year’s process netted 48 candidates and two finalists. John Schneiger, the former manager of New Port Richey, Florida, was hired. He began work in April 2016, but on May 23 of this year, Schneiger was placed on paid administrative leave. In late June, the town board approved a separation agreement with Schneiger, which included a gross payment of nearly $83,000 to the former manager.
Following Schneiger’s departure, the Eagle Town Board appointed town planner Tom Boni as acting town manager and approved a $4,000 contract with GovHR to complete the first phase of the new manager search. That phase entails developing the ideal candidate profile.
During discussion of the process this week, town board member Matt Solomon noted he has received feedback from people in the community complimenting the way the town is proceeding with the new town manager search.