Search for interim Englewood city manager underway

After Eric Keck announced resignation, weeks remain of tenure

Posted 9/13/18

After Englewood's city manager announced his resignation amid what he called a divisive few months for the city, the Englewood City Council began the process to hire a temporary manager — one step …

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Search for interim Englewood city manager underway

After Eric Keck announced resignation, weeks remain of tenure

Posted

After Englewood's city manager announced his resignation amid what he called a divisive few months for the city, the Englewood City Council began the process to hire a temporary manager — one step in the months-long process to finding a full replacement.

“It takes six months at least,” Mayor Linda Olson said of the eventual search for who will permanently succeed Eric Keck.

At a Sept. 10 special council meeting to begin finding an interim city manager, who will serve after Keck steps down Oct. 5, the council agreed to consider appointing an interim manager from among the city's high-level administrative officials and also work with outside groups to consider other candidates.

The city manager is Englewood's top non-elected administrative official, who implements policy decisions made by the council. The city's directors — in charge of branches like finance and utilities, for example — are among those who could temporarily step in.

The city will likely also work with the International City/County Management Association — a group of city and county managers and other government staff — and the Colorado Municipal League, a nonprofit that provides resources to assist city and town officials in managing governments.

Those entities already have potential candidates, said Maria Gonzalez, human-resources director for Englewood, at the meeting.

The city is also without an assistant city manager after Mark Woulf left at the end of June. Because of the arrival of new high-level staff members, the recruitment process for that position was put on hold, and Keck appointed Dorothy Hargrove, the director of parks, recreation and library, as interim assistant city manager. Hargrove said at the meeting she'd prefer to remain as interim assistant, rather than rising to the interim top position.

In a previous interview, Keck said his decision to step down was influenced by his family and not by the tumultuous politics the city's residents and council have experienced in recent months. Keck plans to take a private-sector job in another state.

His exit comes on the heels of a divisive election to decide whether to recall Councilmember Laurett Barrentine — pushed for by former Mayors Jim Woodward and Randy Penn — and backlash the city received amid concerns over its preparedness for the July 24 flood that took a woman's life and displaced several other people. Keck was vocal in acknowledging the city's missteps in preparing for such emergencies at the Aug. 6 council meeting.

At the Sept. 4 meeting, as he announced his decision to resign, he reflected on the city's political climate.

“My prayer for the City of Englewood as I exit this organization, and potentially exit the community, is that there is healing,” Keck said.

Events in recent months “clearly have had an adverse impact on a number of people, their health (and) their relationships with their neighbors, and I just really hope that that will clear up.”

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