Town has three manager finalists

The town of Pagosa Springs will host a “Welcome to our town” meet-and-greet to introduce town residents to the three finalists chosen as candidates for the open town manager position.

The meeting will be held Sept. 10 between 5 and 6 p.m. in the south conference room of the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Town council, with consultation from the Mercer Group (the firm hired by the town to perform the professional search), culled the list down to the three candidates during its Sept. 2 council meeting. According to mayor Ross Aragon, the final selection for town manager will be announced Friday, Sept. 12.

The search for a new town manager began after former Town Manager Mark Garcia resigned April 21, 2008. With Garcia’s departure, town planning director and assistant town manager Tamra Allen took the helm — indicating a willingness to serve as the interim manager until the town made a permanent hire — but saying that she would not apply for the position.

With the council poised to hire Garcia’s replacement, Allen tendered her resignation Tuesday and Aragon commended and thanked her for her service.

Allen will remain with the town until Oct. 17, or until a permanent manager is hired.

In a telephone interview regarding the hiring of a permanent manager, Aragon said, “I’m excited and thankful that we’re at this point in the process.”

The mayor also stated that the purpose of the meet-and-greet is primarily a format for welcoming the candidates to Pagosa Springs and, although input regarding the selection is certainly welcome, citizens will not be vetting the candidates for selection.

“I invited five business people to serve on a committee for reviewing the candidates,” Aragon said, “To provide input and offer their impressions.” The committee included Bill Dawson, Bob Hart, Mike Heraty, Terry Smith, and Michael Whiting of the Southwest Land Alliance.

The public is encouraged to meet the candidates, ask questions, and introduce them to Pagosa Springs.

Following is the list of finalists and their backgrounds:


County awards contract for airport snow removal

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners awarded a three-year contract to Hart Construction of Pagosa Springs for snow removal at Stevens Field airport during a regular commissioner’s’ meeting Tuesday.

Archuleta County commissioners Bob Moomaw and Ronnie Zaday voted in favor of granting the contract. Archuleta County Commissioner Robin Schiro was absent.

According to Archuleta County Administrator Greg Schulte, Schiro was attending the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

With commissioner approval, the contract sets the stage for snow removal operations during the winters of 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, at the sums of $42,000, $45,000 and $46,000 respectively. The contract allows for eight snow events each year, with an hourly rate charged thereafter.

Bill McKown, Stevens Field manager, said the county received bids from two companies — Hart Construction and Smithco Enterprises LLC.

As the only bidder last winter, Hart performed 10 total events at a slightly higher rate.

With Smithco Enterprises LLC bidding the contract for a reported sum of $56,700 the first year, with consideration toward the subsequent two years, Hart Construction was the low bidder.