Lanning named as manager |

Lanning named as manager

Brenner: Selection of new official an easy choice for council

Dana Strongin

— Alan Lanning, the city manager for Brookings, S.D., will be Steamboat Springs’ next city manager.

Steamboat Springs City Coun–cil President Ken Brenner announced Thursday that Lann–ing was the council’s top pick out of the six candidates who interviewed with the council during the past week. Lanning has formally accepted the position.

Lanning’s first day will be July 3. His last day in the Brookings position is June 14, after which he will move to Steamboat. Lanning plans to represent Steamboat at a Colorado Municipal League conference in Breckenridge in mid-June.

Brenner would not quantify Lanning’s salary, saying that the contract is only an agreement in principle and has not been finalized in writing. The council will approve the contract via resolution on an unnamed date.

The city manager’s benefits package typically includes medical and dental insurance, a car allowance, a cellular phone, paid time off and professional training and development, City Clerk Julie Jordan said.

Brenner said the six candidates were well-qualified, but that the selection of Lanning was an easy consensus for the council.

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“We are confident that he’s the right guy,” Brenner said, adding that the citizens’ committee that reviewed the candidates also supported Lanning. “We feel that Alan is a good fit for Steamboat Springs.”

Council President Pro-Tem Susan Dellinger said Lanning has proven himself to be someone who has strong communication skills. One of the council’s main goals in hiring a new city manager was to find someone who would improve communication among city staff, the council and the public.

Lanning said Thursday that he couldn’t describe how pleased he was to be offered the position. He has said he was interested in being Steamboat’s city manager because it was “at the top of the pile of our profession.” It would be the highlight of anyone’s career, he said.

Lanning said his four children have been asking when they can go “home” since he has been in South Dakota.

“Colorado’s home to all of my kids,” he said, adding that the family will spend a lot of time fishing at Steamboat Lake, skiing and camping.

Lanning has been Brookings’ city manager for two years. The city has more than 18,500 residents and is home to South Dakota State University, the state’s largest university.

He managed a staff of nearly 120 in Brookings and earned $96,000 a year. Brookings’ total budget was $19 million for all funds and $10 million for the general fund; Lanning was responsible for the entire budget.

Lanning has several years of experience in Colorado. He was the town manager of Minturn from 1998 to 2004. In his application, Lanning said that, while in Minturn, he made significant budget and facility improvements. He also formed the Minturn Visioning Committee, which provided guidance on community projects such as a farmer’s market.

Lanning also worked in Craig as an administrative assistant and planning director for the Moffat County Board of Commissioners. Lanning had management and administrative responsibilities for several departments, including administration, planning, budget and personnel.

Lanning also has held two positions with the Arizona Department of Economic Secur–ity; he was a programs and projects specialist and a job interviewer.

Lanning earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from South Dakota State, where he also earned teaching credentials in economics. His master’s degree of public administration came from the University of South Dakota.

Lanning has said that many of the issues he has dealt with in Brookings are the same as those in Steamboat. Those issues included downtown improvements, airport master-plans, sales-tax health, affordable housing, transportation, river restoration and water rights.

“A lot of the issues match up,” Lanning said.

Lanning said the first challenge when he comes to Steamboat will be getting to know the council, staff, residents and community groups. He also will work to become familiar with the city’s codes and policies.

Lanning said he hasn’t had time to determine all his long-term goals.

“I would just hope to be up to the challenge and improve the quality of life and the workings of the city while I’m there,” he said.