Hayden hires town manager | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden hires town manager

Nick Foster

Minturn’s human resource director will be Hayden’s next town manager.

Hayden Mayor Chuck Grobe breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday when Russell Martin accepted the job offer and agreed to start March 1.

“I’m relieved,” Grobe said. “I can’t wait until he gets here.”

In the absence of former Town Manger Rob Straebel, who accepted a position in October as village administrator for the Village of Taos Ski Valley, N.M., town staff had to take on the duties of the town manager, as well as their regular tasks.

“I’ve been having to fill in, talking with various people and developers, just dealing with the day-to-day operations in the office,” Grobe said. “But it’s been a real team effort by the department heads, (Town Clerk) Lisa Johnston, (Police Chief) Jody Lenahan and (Public Works Director) Frank Fox. I have to take my hat off to those people.”

The Hayden Town Board held a special meeting Monday to make sure that Martin was the man they wanted for the position.

“After the interviews and all the input we got, all pointed to Russell Martin as the best candidate,” Grobe said. “I think it was his personnel skills and heavy planning background. Those were the things we were looking at the closest, and we just had a good feeling about him.”

Martin has a master’s degree in human resource management from Utah State University and a bachelor’s degree in city and regional planning. The first three years of his career were spent as a regional planner in Richfield, Utah. In that position, he collected, organized and analyzed data in the development of local plans and ordinances.

From Utah, Martin moved to be a human resource director, first in Red Cliff and then in Minturn, a bedroom community of Vail with about 1,000 residents.

As Minturn’s human resource director, Martin performs duties associated with the planning and development process including pre-application conferences, scheduling, application assistance, ordinance explanation and clarification, planning commission and town council meeting packet preparation, staff reports and presentations, and GIS mapping development.

Martin said he also has extensive experience with planning consultants and has seen the benefits of CommunityViz, which Hayden is using in its planning efforts.

Professionally, Martin said he thinks his experience is a good match for Hayden. Personally, he wants to come to Hayden because of its positive family atmosphere and his desire to become involved with the community both in and out of work.

Martin is married and has a 10-month-old boy; he learned Monday that he and his wife are expecting a baby.

“I’ve had some talks with board members and the mayor, and it’s all been congratulatory, and that just makes me even more excited to get there,” Martin said. “I think my family will really enjoy it there, too.”

Martin said he already has begun searching for a house in Hayden and plans to visit the town this weekend to look at properties.

Martin will be paid $52,000 under a contract that extends to December 2005, though Martin said if all goes well, he will be working in Hayden for “a long while.”

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