Town of Eagle names town planner Tom Boni as interim manager
EAGLE — Tom Boni’s original plan was to retire from service with the town of Eagle effective Oct. 6.
The new plan has him leading the organization until at least then.
Earlier this week, the Eagle Town Board selected Boni to serve as interim town manager — a gig that will likely last for the next three to six months while the town launches a search for its new leader.
Boni has been serving as acting town manager since late June, when former manager John Schneigger submitted his resignation, and has been with the town since 2010 when he was hired as Eagle town planner. Boni first moved to Eagle in 1978, when he took a job with Eagle County. He has also worked for the New York City planning department and the New York City Economic Development Corp. From 1995 to 2010, Boni worked for Knight Planning Services in Eagle.
‘A lot has been happening at town hall’
Boni said a series of factors led him to the decision to apply for the interim manager job. He has experienced firsthand the staff turnover that Eagle has seen during the past year. Schneigger’s departure, after only one year on the job, was the highest profile change, but Boni noted Eagle’s long-time town engineer left for a new job in Summit County and the town’s building inspector recently retired after many years of service. With all of these changes, he felt the town needed someone familiar to help with the interim job.
“It takes time to pick up with things that have been put on hold (with staff turnover),” Boni said. “In the meantime, a lot of things have been happening at town hall.”
Recent work on a new strategic plan for Eagle also convinced Boni to apply for the job. During the planning work, Boni said the town staff came together on the effort, and seeing the various department heads and staff members working together on the plan was an inspiration.
“We all really bought into the whole program,” Boni said.
Rather than lose momentum with an interim leader and then a new town manager, Boni decided to offer to see the town through this period.
While Boni is invigorated to lead Eagle during the next half-year, he acknowledged there are a number of challenges facing Eagle.
“We have a new water treatment plan to consider, and part of that whole project is financing,” Boni said.
The town is working up the final details for the plant cost and has warned residents that a surcharge will be appearing on their monthly water bills to help pay for the plant construction. Boni said conservation efforts are another part of the plant program, and those measures will require a comprehensive education outreach to town residents.
“We want to keep moving forward on the Eagle River Park,” Boni said. “We are getting our drawings completed, and we are hoping to bid that work out in September or October to start on the in-stream features this winter.”
On the positive side, as he faces these challenges, Boni believes his strong working relationships within the organization will help him in his new leadership role.
“I just felt I could contribute and the challenge was something I wanted to be involved with,” he said.
The town received 10 applications for the interim town manager position and interviewed three finalists for the job — Boni, Betsy Suerth and Tim Gagen.
It’s a big deal when the governor pops in for a visit, especially if he traveled to the other side of the world to do it.