The Town of Paonia placed an ad last week in the Delta County Independent, with the Colorado Municipal League, with alumni association at universities and the International City Management Association. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 15.
The position requires a master's degree in public administration with at least three years of strong executive level experience in local government. A case by case review would be done if someone has non-profit or NGO experience.
Based on the competencies decided upon by the town's screening committee, the town is looking for someone with excellent abilities in working with the town council and the community, strong administrative capabilities, budget and financial acumen, and strong competence in conflict management, team management and diplomacy.
David Knutson, who is the Town of Paonia's human resources consultant, gave the personnel committee over 40 cards with competencies listed. The committee members, Sarah Sauter and Brian Ayers, put the cards into categories of "nice but not necessary" and "essential." From the essential stack they had to cull those down to just seven competencies that were needed the most in a town manager.
"[David Knutson] has interviewed all sorts of staff members and council members and people from outside the town as well. The seven or ten competencies that stand out must be in the person we ultimately hire for the town manager position," Sauter said.
"I look forward to the hiring process because there is such a good team on the [screening] committee," Sauter said. Knutson is guiding the effort. Bill Bishop, Larry Wissbeck, Ross King, Scott Leon, Sarah Sauter and one more person to be selected who has past town manager experience is on the screening committee. "We want to have all sorts of perspectives," Sauter said.
At a Paonia work session in late November about the selection process for the town manager, Knutson said the screening committee would interview out-of-town candidates by phone or Skype.
There is travel budget for sending a person from Paonia to the candidate's town and interview people about the applicant's background. Knutson said background checks should not be done over the phone. "This position is too important to do that," Knutson said. "If it's a local candidate, that's simple."
Technical experts helping the screening committee are Justin Clifton, Delta city manager, Elyse Ackerman-Cassleberry, the regional manager of the Department of Local Affairs, and retired Grand Junction city manager Mark Achen. Achen is called a range rider for the Colorado Municipal League (CML). He is a problem solver and an advisor for city managers and municipalities. He also works with the International City Management Association.blog comments powered by Disqus