Hayden passes on town manager candidates | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden passes on town manager candidates

— The search continues after Hayden Town Council members decided to pass on the candidates identified as finalists for the town manager position.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, because everyone wants to get it done,” Mayor Jim Haskins said.

On Thursday, the town council interviewed the four finalists. They were former Mead town manager Dan Dean, James Dinkle, the director of a regional economic development foundation in Arizona, Raymond DuBois, a Craig resident who works as city administrator in Cripple Creek and Kitty Clemens, who is the executive director of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce in Montana.

Acting Town Manager Greg Tuliszewski said the search will continue, and it could now be August before the town hires a new town manager.

“It was the first time I can ever remember us being in this situation,” Haskins said. “There was no one that jumped off the page and everyone felt comfortable with.”

Haskins said they had strong candidates, but council had some concerns with the candidates who had management experience.

“The ones that didn’t were strong in economic development and were going to need some help with other things,” Haskins.

He said that would have been difficult for the town, which has few staff members.

The town used a recruiter to help identify candidates. As part of the terms of the contract the town has with the recruiter, the recruiter will not charge any more money to find more candidates.

Haskins said officials plan to meet with the recruiter and discuss ways to broaden the field of candidates. Haskins said he was concerned that council might have focused too closely on finding someone with strong economic development experience.

Economic development is a priority for the town. The town faces a grim financial future and is forecast to burn through its reserves by the end of 2017 unless something is done.

In deciding to hold off on hiring someone, Haskins said some council members wondered if it would put a strain on staff. He said there were indications from staff members that they felt it was good to hold off on hiring someone.

“We feel really strongly that we have a really good staff,” Haskins said.

Tuliszewski, who is serving as both police chief and acting town manager, said he does not feel overwhelmed. He attributed that to support from the staff at Town Hall and the police department.

In other news, town council has chosen Charles Forrest to fill a vacancy on council created by Jim Folley’s decision to move from the area.

Forrest has worked for Wagner Equipment for the past 11 years and transferred almost two years ago to Hayden with his family, including a son, who is in first grade.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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