County continues admin search


Staff Writer

With another round of interviews in the books, Archuleta County still has no permanent administrator or finance director.

The county has been without a permanent administrator since November, and without a finance director since February.

As of Wednesday, the next step in filling both positions had not been determined by the Board of County Commissioners, but is expected to be a topic of discussion at an upcoming board retreat.

Despite naming five finalists to be interviewed Monday for the administrator position, only two candidates were interviewed, and neither was selected for the position.

Only one of those candidates was announced as a part of the first pool of finalists, with the second being a reserve finalist called in following the withdrawal of other candidates.

Those candidates were Ted Graham, of Guymon, Okla. (the previously named finalist), and Robert Decker, of Alto, N.M.

Following the failed hiring attempt, Clifford Lucero, BoCC chair, issued a statement to The SUN:

“Archuleta County is thankful to have had the opportunity to interview today’s candidates and they are fine managers. Fortunately, we are not in a position where we need to accept other than what is absolutely right for Archuleta County and for one reason or another neither of today’s candidates is exactly what we need at this time.”

Lucero’s statement continued, “The Board of County Commissioners will convene a retreat in the immediate future and one of the topics of discussion will be the next step in finding the perfect candidate.”

At the retreat, Lucero said the board will discuss what direction to take in moving forward as a county and work to develop a plan.

That retreat is expected to occur next week, Lucero said. The retreat had not been scheduled by presstime Wednesday.

Monday’s interviews were the second round held for the position, with the position offered to Jesse Smith, of Montrose, Colo. in January. Smith, however, did not accept the offer for “nonfinancial reasons,” according to Todd Starr, interim county administrator and county attorney.

Another hole remaining among the county’s top management is that of finance director.

One finance director candidate was interviewed and tested on Friday, but was not offered the position.

That interview followed a day of interviews of applicants that resulted in a job offer to Chris Freese, of Manheim, Penn., who declined the offer.

“Given the small staff in the finance department, we really need someone that can hit the ground on all cylinders,” said commissioner Steve Wadley, who represented the BoCC on the interview panel.