Steamboat Springs City Council barely approves city manager’s list of 2015 goals

Scott Franz

— City Manager Deb Hinsvark’s list of eight goals for 2015 barely was approved Tuesday night by the Steamboat Springs City Council following a lengthy debate about the list.

The council voted, 4-3, to approve the goals that range from installing a new electric vehicle charging station in the city to a possible overhaul of the city’s pay plan next year.

The council also asked Hinsvark to return with specific metrics to measure the city manager’s success in achieving the goals.

Council members supportive of the goals said they aligned with the council’s priorities in areas like sustainability and fiscal management.

Council members who didn’t support the goals thought the list was too small or that it didn’t specifically address bigger city proposals and issues like the construction of a new police station or affordable housing policy.

Council member Sonja Macys said she wanted a list of goals that would more clearly determine what projects the city manager would or would not be working on throughout the year.

Kenny Reisman said that type of goal-setting is too limiting.

“It’s a lack of understanding of how deep this job is if we’re going to limit these goals to what she’s going to work on,” Reisman said.

The discussion about the city manager’s goals almost didn’t happen Tuesday when three members voted to table the discussion until a later date to give the council members more time to provide input on Hinsvark’s list.

The council then spent a lot of time discussing how the goals would be measured and whether the scope of the list was agreeable.

In the end, council President Bart Kounovsky and members Scott Myller and Tony Connell joined Reisman in supporting the goals and asking for the additional metrics.

Council members Macys, Scott Ford and Walter Magill opposed the list.

Magill said he thought Hinsvark was doing a good job as city manager, but he agreed with other council members who wanted to see the goals address big projects like the police station.

In addition to the charging station and the pay plan changes, some of Hinsvark’s other goals include advancing her executive leadership skills through participation in the Berkeley Executive Education program, conducting another employee satisfaction survey to establish trends, completing a community survey to help guide future city policy and working with the regional building department to ensure new software is up and running smoothly in 2015 and the development review process runs in a timely manner.

The council will discuss the metrics for Hinsvark’s goals at its next meeting.

In other action:

• The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to make the application process for mobile food vendors easier. The changes will lower the application fee for food cart and food truck operators from the current $500 to $50 and make the approval process shorter.

• The council approved a change of use of one of the Iron Horse Inn buildings from a hotel operation to a dormitory. The city is leasing out one of the hotel buildings that was empty to the Sheraton Steamboat Resort this winter. The hotel is housing its employees there.

• The council approved a Planning Commission recommendation to allow a pizza shop and a breakfast restaurant to open in the space that used to house The Market on the Mountain.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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