The Delta City Council has offered the position of city manager to two different candidates and has come up empty each time. Now councilmembers plan to seek the assistance of a professional recruiter.
"We've had some wonderful applicants," Mayor Ed Sisson said. "I don't know if a professional head hunter could have done any better, but we'll see."
After the resignation of Justin Clifton in April, council decided to conduct its own search for a new city manager, rather than pay the expense of a professional "headhunting" firm as the city has done in the past.
The opening was advertised in local newspapers, trade publications and through the Colorado Municipal League. A total of 43 applications were received; five were named finalists and invited to the city for interviews.
Sisson said council was confident an agreement had been reached with Mark Collins on July 21. "I even asked him, 'Mark, do we have a contract? The paper is outside and we want to announce it,' " Sisson related.
Then on Friday, July 24, Sisson said Collins called him at home with additional requests. Collins followed up with a phone conversation with interim city manager Glen Black early the following week, and ultimately withdrew his name from consideration.
"Perhaps a professional can do a better job of vetting candidates," Sisson said. "It will certainly be less stressful for our staff."
City charter states appointment of an acting city manager may not exceed 180 days, and it could be difficult to fill the position within the remaining time allotted. Sisson said it may be necessary to reword Glen Black's contract to comply with the city charter.
Three candidates are hoping to bring an end to the Republican-dominated Delta County Board of County Commissioners. Two are Democrats who call themselves men of ideas; the third is an independent candidate who says he's frustrated by the "status quo."