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Delta Closes In On Finalists For City Manager, Again

delta, downtown delta colorado
Flickr user: J. Stephen Conn

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Nov. 10, 2015  because the city announced Dana Schoening withdrew his application. 

Delta is hoping third time’s the charm for its city manager search.

In April, Delta’s then city manager Justin Clifton left for a job in Arizona. The city launched the search for his replacement in May. 

First, the position was offered to Jeffery Hecksel, the city manager for Glenwood Springs, but he turned it down. So city officials went back to the original pool of applicants. 

They offered the job to Mark Collins, with the University of Wyoming. Mayor Ed Sisson says after Collins agreed to a verbal offer, contract negotiations started.

"The about after a month of back and forth, give and take, more give than take from us, he said ‘yeah’," says Sisson. "We thought we were set."

However, Collins ended up turning down the job too. After two strikes, Delta decided to hire a recruiting company.

In August, it selected Carbondale-based Mercer Group to the lead the city manager search. The city received 46 applications. Delta officials narrowed the pool to five and announced the finalists last week.  However, one dropped out this week, according to a city release. 

The remaining applicants are Don Gaeddert, the former city manager of Larned, Kansas; Dan Hamsmith, the director of economic development for Hudson, Colorado; George Korthauer, the former city manager of Petoskey, Michigan; and David Torgler, the town manager for Hayden, Colorado. 

"Hopefully, this time we'll get one on the hook and he stays on it, " Sisson says.

The city is planning a community meet-and-greet with the applicants on Nov. 23 at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Interviews are scheduled for the following day.

Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
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