15 apply for county administrator position

Four months after trying and failing to agree on a new county administrator, Mesa County commissioners are giving it another go and plan to interview candidates next month.

The county is accepting applications through Friday. As of the end of the last week, the county had received 15 applications, Human Resources Manager Sandy Perry said.

The position announcement indicates the county is seeking applicants with master’s degrees in public administration and at least six years of management experience. The annual salary ranges from $104,084 to $145,718, depending upon qualifications. It’s the same salary range the county advertised last year after County Administrator Jon Peacock resigned.

Commissioner Janet Rowland said none of the applicants thus far is from the Grand Valley, although she said she talked to a few local residents who may be interested in the position.

The county has paid $12,600 to The Mercer Group, a national management-consulting firm, to help search for candidates and is advertising the position in local and national newspapers, magazines and websites.

Mercer and county human resources officials will review applications and narrow the list to roughly 10 candidates by the end of the month. Commissioners will then whittle it down to four or five and bring in the finalists for interviews April 7 and 8, Perry said.

Commissioners hope to have someone aboard by May 9.

Unlike the previous search and at the recommendation of interim Administrator Tom Papin, Rowland said a couple of community groups will meet with the finalists and offer feedback to commissioners. One group likely will consist of business and economic development leaders, with the other representing partner agencies such as Mesa State College and local municipalities.

Rowland said she is “cautiously optimistic” the board can agree on a new administrator.

Commissioners tentatively offered the job to former Florida executive Michael Freilinger but never made a final offer because he wasn’t Commissioner Steve Acquafresca’s top choice. Acquafresca also balked at Freilinger’s proposed $140,000 salary, preferring instead to offer $125,000, the same pay Peacock received.

Rowland encouraged the board to consider taking over the day-to-day administrative duties of the county before Papin recommended against it, and the board decided to fill the county administrator post.


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