Vail town manager candidates meet and mingle with town residents, employees
What’s the process?
If the Vail Town Council decides to make a job offer to one of the current six candidates, the town and candidate will negotiate a deal including salary, benefits, use of a car and a town-provided home. That deal must then be approved by the council at an evening meeting. The council may reveal which candidate it’s negotiating with, but is under no obligation to make that information public before voting to approve the employment contract.
VAIL — Bob Armour was once Vail’s mayor, so he has firsthand insight into what the Vail town manager’s job requires. He likes what he sees in the current crop of six candidates.
The council earlier this year reopened the search for a new manager after the first search ended with two finalists, one of whom pulled out of the process. The job has been open since former manager Stan Zemler announced late in 2016 that he would leave in April.
This second round has turned up six candidates, all of whom impressed Armour, who has been on the volunteer committees interviewing both the first candidates and this group.
At a Tuesday public meet and greet session with the current crop of candidates, Armour acknowledged he was tired from a day of confidential interviews.
But, he said, “I’m so pleased we have this wonderful cast of characters here tonight. These are much stronger candidates.”
There were two other former mayors at the Tuesday session, Ludwig Kurz and Rod Slifer, both of whom were strong advocates for hiring Zemler in 2004. As it turned out, Zemler spent more time than anyone else in the manager’s job.
“This is a pretty impressive group,” Kurz said. “There are good personalities here. I’m hopeful council will find someone who’ll do a good job.”
Slifer said Tuesday’s session was his first opportunity to meet the group, and he seemed impressed.
“They’re all very well qualified,” Slifer said. “But you can’t tell from a brief meeting.”
Slifer’s wife, Beth, said Tuesday’s meet and greet was a good chance to ask some questions of the people interested in the job.
“But it’s (also) an opportunity for them to see what kind of community we are,” she said.
As you’d expect, there were a number of town employees at Tuesday’s session — the town manager is their ultimate boss, after all. But there were a number of residents, too.
Mary Jo Allen has lived in Vail since 1969. She has a long, emotional connection to the community. Allen said she wanted to meet the manager candidates to feel out their opinions on environmental issues.
“I’m interested in their feelings about the loss of room for housing and the concern over trading (U.S. Forest Service) land for housing,” Allen said.
Here’s a brief look at the candidates:
Clifton has 23 years of local government experience and has served as municipal manager for the town of Telluride since 2010.
He previously served as municipal manager for the town of Ridgway and municipal attorney for the city of Montrose. Clifton earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado, a juris doctorate from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.
Follenweider has 19 years of local and state government experience and currently serves as the chief operating and performance officer for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
He previously held the positions of deputy director and chief financial officer for the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners, financial analyst for the city of Aurora and senior budget analyst for the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Follenweider earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado.
Fulton has 35 years of local government experience. He most recently served as city manager for West St. Paul, Minnesota.
He has served as city manager for the cities of Coon Rapids and New Brighton, Minnesota, city administrator for the city of Hartford, Wisconsin, administrative assistant to the city manager for New Ulm, Minnesota and has also worked as an organizational consultant for the city of Daly City, California. Fulton has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Minnesota.
Hahn has 25 years of local government management experience and currently serves as borough manager for the borough of Skagway, Alaska.
He previously served as city manager for the cities of Petersburg and Cordova, Alaska, the city administrator for the city of Salida, the town manager for Hayden and the town administrator for Erie, all in Colorado. Hahn earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.
Michael Mallinoff has 28 years of local government management experience and currently serves as county administrator for Charles County, Maryland.
He previously served as chief operating officer for the state of Maryland’s Department of Information Technology.
He has served as city manager for the city of Annapolis, where he also served as city administrator and director of the department of neighborhood and environmental programs, and for the city of Newport, Rhode Island. Mallinoff earned a juris doctorate from the University of Baltimore and a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Maryland.
Singer has 25 years of local government experience and currently works in the City Manager’s Department of the city of Del Mar, California. He previously served as city manager for the cities of Poway, Goleta and Ojai, California.
Singer has a master’s degrees in public administration and political science from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chapman University.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.
Wolves were a problem for ranchers when Kip Gates’ great-great-grandfather homesteaded in the area. He doesn’t want the problem to return.