Town of Eagle names two finalists for manager job
EAGLE — The Eagle Town Board has released the names of the two finalists for the town manager, but residents will have to act quickly and get out of bed early if they want to meet the pair prior to a hiring announcement.
A meet-and-greet with the two candidates is scheduled for Friday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Eagle Town Hall. That is the sole scheduled opportunity the public will have to get acquainted with the candidates before the current Town Board makes its hiring choice.
The two finalists are Clark Gundlach and John Schneiger.
Gundlach was an executive in the outdoor sports industry working for popular brands which included Burton, Quiksilver and Spyder. He successfully led each of the companies through periods of intense growth. After focusing his career efforts on a national level, he now seeks to commit his energy to a local effort. Gundlach recently relocated to Eagle.
Schneiger has more than 20 years of public administrative experience, including roles as city manager and community redevelopment director in Colorado and nationally. He was instrumental in leading the Western Slope municipalities of Montrose and Fruita through periods of strong economic growth. Schneiger recently moved back to Colorado from Florida.
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The announcement of the two finalists at the Tuesday Town Board meeting begins a 14-day period that must expire prior to a formal offer and contract being extended to one of the finalists.
The Eagle Town Board announced the names of the two finalists for town manager Tuesday night. The announcement came after a two-month period which Mayor Yuri Kostick characterized as a “long process.” A statement from the Town Board noted the process included a national search, candidate recruitment and selection effort via Moffet Consulting and review by a selection committee made up of four current Town Board members, three members of town staff and a representative from the Eagle Chamber of Commerce. The opening attracted 50 applicants and the town board statement notes that each of the finalists has more than 20 years of related career experience and backgrounds that qualify him for the position.
“Though significantly different, each of the two finalists have skill sets and career experiences that make them uniquely qualified to be Eagle’s town manager. We were careful not to limit ourselves to applicants with only municipal experience and I believe the applicant pool was stronger because of it,” said Mayor Pro Tem Anne McKibbin. “In the end it will be up to the Eagle Town Board to choose the finalist whose work style best complements Eagle’s future.”
Therein lies the rub. While the current town board can hire a new manager for a start date prior to April 25, that person will have to be named to the job again in less than a month. Five of the seven seats on the Town Board are up for election on April 5 and one of the first tasks the newly elected Town Board will tackle is to vote on whether or not to approve the new town manager’s contract.
McKibbin, who is the sole candidate for mayor in the upcoming election, had a simple response to the people who are asking why the current town board is pushing ahead with the hiring choice. “To the people who are asking ‘why,’ I would say ‘why not?’” she said. “You would have to assume that this board is not capable of doing it (making the correct hiring choice) and I would say we are capable of making the decision.”
McKibbin said that the candidates for the upcoming election have had the opportunity to meet the finalists and share their thoughts. “So far we haven’t heard anything from them that they don’t trust our process or have doubts about our finalists,” said McKibbin.“I don’t anticipate that when the new board is seated there will be a restart on the process.”
McKibbin also noted that the 14-day period gives the current and future Town Board members and the community as a whole the opportunity to vet the finalists and determine who is best suited for the job.
As for the hasty scheduling for the community meet-and-greet, McKibbin noted that it was a result of the finalists’ availability.
“It is a bit of scheduling to get that figured out, but if we get a lot of feedback that not enough people were able to come, we will schedule another session,” she said.