In the wee hours of Wednesday, April 19, Delta city manager Joe Kerby shared his decision to accept a job as manager of La Plata County with Delta's council members and department heads. His last day with the city will be June 15; he starts his new position June 18.
Kerby has been Delta city manager since April 2010.
Kerby's contract calls for 30 days' notice. In the interest of continuity, he tried to provide 60 days' notice.
"Of utmost importance to me is that we continue to move forward with the projects we've got going," Kerby said, citing the rec center pool improvements, alternate truck route and downtown revitalization.
"The transition will be eaiser as a result of the strong department heads we have, as well as the fact we keep each other in the loop constantly, good or bad. They've been involved in what I've been involved in."
As he was struggling with his decision, Kerby said a colleague pointed out that he was faced with two right decisions. "That's a good way to look at it," he said.
At $145,000/year, Kerby will be making more than his predecessor in La Plata County — and probably considerably more than his successor in Delta. Currently Kerby is earning $103,667/year plus housing, which will also be provided for one year in Durango.
"There's no way we could match what they're offering," said Mayor Ed Sisson, who was elected to city council at the same time Kerby was hired as city manager.
"He will be hard to replace," Sisson continued. "It's been great working with him. Hopefully we can find somebody half as good as he is."
During a special meeting Friday, April 20, Delta City Council members discussed their options. Human resources director Jeri Karsten outlined three possibilities: 1) appoint an interim city manager in house; 2) appoint a circuit rider as interim city manager; or 3) begin the search process immediately.
The search can be done in house or through a recruiting firm. Council members who were involved in the previous city manager search felt the services of a "head hunter" made the process a lot easier and the pool of candidates was "more professional, more top shelf."
The city previously used Rainguet & Associates, which is based in Grand Junction, at a cost of $8,300, which doesn't include transportation costs for finalist interviews. A total of 59 applicants from Alaska to Florida applied for the position. Rainguet sorted through the resumes and did preliminary background checks.
Karsten was asked to contact Rainguet and several other "head hunters," including the one who recruited Kerby for both the City of Delta and La Plata County, and return to council with cost estimates.
At the end of Karsten's presentation the council went into executive session to discuss negotiating strategy.blog comments powered by Disqus