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Thornton manager search down to five

Search committee hopes to bring candidates to city in July for interviews, tours


Thornton residents might get a look at their next city manager in July as the city council narrows the list of new managers to five.

Mayor Heidi Williams said the city is planning a series of tours and meetings for city manager candidates next month.

“The hope would be that we will have somebody in mind by the end of that whole process,” she said. “Then, we can start going through negotiations and that sort of thing.”

Jack Ethredge, the city’s top administrator and a 32-year city employee, stepped down as manager on March 20.

Williams said the city council’s advertisement for Ethredge’s replacement drew in 70 resumes from across the country. Councilors hired executive search firm Affion Public to review those resumes and the list of 70 was quickly narrowed down to nine, Williams said.

“The city council search committee met and we got that down to five semi-finalists,” she said. “So, now we plan to bring them here. We’ll put more about it out once we have the dates all confirmed.”

Williams said the council plans to bring all five candidates in for daylong tours and meetings over a long weekend in mid-July.

“We’ll have them come, tour the city and meet some of the staff,” she said. “Then they’ll do quick interviews with city councilors and then we’ll have a community evening reception.”

Williams said formal interviews with councilors and the individual candidates will continue on Saturday.

“That first round will be quick, kind of like speed-dating,” she said. “The Saturday interviews will have presentations from the candidates and more council questions, assuming that all five are still interested at that point.”

Williams said she expects the city could have a new manager on the job no earlier than September.

“We have a couple of candidates who have jobs currently, and others who do not,” she said. “So, depending on who we get there may be time needed for notice and travel and moving.”

Williams declined to identify the candidates by name now but said they’d be released to the public early in July.

Two of the candidates are current Colorado residents, she said. One is from Texas, and two are from other Western states.

“Most of them have some large city experience,” she said. “One or two are currently working in smaller cities now, but even they have experience from large cities.”

Williams said councilors are looking for a candidate who understands economic growth and managing a fast-growing city.

“Obviously we want someone who has experience as a city manager or close by, in that second seat role,” she said. “We want someone who works collaboratively but also a strong leader. And have looked for diversity in this process.”

Deputy City Manager and former Community Development Director Jeff Coder, the acting City Manager, is not one of the candidates. Coder did not apply for the job, Williams said.

“He’s been with the city 20 years and obviously will really be there to help the new person and help them learn about our issues,” Williams said.


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