Search resumes for Garfield County Manager

May 21, 2012

Garfield County Commissioners voted today to resume the search for a county manager. The commissioners’ vote directed county staff to work with the county’s contracted search firm to finalize the schedule for relisting the position, and set up interviews for qualified applicants who will fit within the county’s goals and objectives. On April 2, the commissioners decided unanimously not to extend an offer to any of the five finalists they and the other Garfield County elected officials had interviewed.
“We have waited a sufficient amount of time for the applicant pool to settle,” said Acting County Manager Andrew Gorgey. “Most searches have been completed in other counties in Colorado, and this should give us some new candidates to consider.”

Peckham and McKenney, the firm retained to conduct the executive search, will continue working under the terms of its original contract with the county until a county manager is hired.

Gorgey has served as acting county manager, as well as county attorney, since January 3, 2012, and is under contract for both positions through December 31, 2012. When a new county manager is hired, he will return to his original position, Garfield County Attorney.

“We have reorganized county operations to meet our county’s needs more fully, and to facilitate goals set by the commissioners,” said Gorgey. “We are fine-tuning these processes in advance of hiring a new county manager, and feel that these changes will effectively elevate our operations to a level that will not only serve our residents well, but also provide better transparency, and prepare our organization for a smooth transition to effective oversight by a new county manager.”

The reorganization and project planning in addition to current county operations includes:

  1. Approval of $16 million dollars in county road and engineering projects set to launch over the summer,
  2. Installation of a new email server for county operations through the county’s information technology department,
  3. Review of the county’s land use code for year-end proposed revisions for the purpose of stimulating economic development,
  4. Complete review of the procurement code and related procedures including enhanced spending controls and improved instructions for prospective bidders,
  5. Economic development base analysis research to involve local business leaders, city and town governments and clarification of the county’s ongoing role,
  6. Establishment of the county’s Communications Department for enhanced communications to county residents and increased transparency, and
  7. Pre-payment of Certificates of Participation, which reduced the county’s overall financial obligations, saved future interest payments, and gave the county outright ownership of the Garfield County Administration Building in Glenwood Springs and the road and bridge facilities at Hunter Mesa near Rifle.

“I think two months is sufficient time for us to wait to relist the position,” said Mike Samson, Garfield County commissioner. “I reiterate, he (Gorgey), as well as the rest of the staff, have done an admirable job in running the county, and he has shown integrity and strength in five months. Hopefully we will have several new applications, and we can go forward from here.”

Commissioners Samson and John Martin voted to direct the staff to proceed in the county manager search process using the same criteria as in the previous search. It is their hope to have someone in the position in 4-5 months. Commissioner Jankovsky was excused from today’s meeting.