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ISSUE #153: Calling All AmeliorANTs  5/9/19

"It can be difficult to speak truth to power. Circumstances, however, have made doing so increasingly necessary."   -- Aberjhani

As the recruitment for Steve Barwick's replacement gets underway, the folks from Peckham & McKenney who are conducting the search want YOUR help in shaping a candidate profile.
Three public engagement sessions have been scheduled:
  • Monday, May 13 from 8-9a at the Pitkin County Library (Dunaway Room)
  • Monday, May 13 from 5:30-6:30p at the Aspen Police Station 
  • Tuesday, May 14 from 12:15-1:15p also at the Aspen Police Station
Since we have not undertaken a search for a new city manager in more than two decades, now is the time to make your opinions known.  Discussion points for these outreach sessions include:
  • The current and future challenges Aspen faces
  • Service priorities
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Leadership style and approach
  • Community involvement philosophy
Since the headhunters are ostensibly interested in specific "desired qualities" for this individual, The Red Ant would like to add:
  • Experience initiating cultural change in organizations
  • Appetite for questioning/challenging the status quo
  • Experience with a $120 million annual municipal budget 
  • Experience with a diverse, highly-educated, highly-engaged, politically active municipality 
If you are unable to attend one of the sessions and would still like to participate, please send your thoughts in an email to Drew Gorgey at Peckham & McKenney:

Time is distinctly of the essence as the consultants plan to provide feedback to council on Tuesday afternoon, following the third public session.
For example, if you feel strongly (as I do) that Aspen would benefit from fresh blood and fresh thinking in order to dramatically change the culture of city hall, let that be known.  My greatest fear is that those making the decisions on the candidate profile (the current outgoing council, none of whom have ever even contemplated such high level hiring, yet alone ever met a payroll) don't have the knowledge or experience base to draw from to provide critical direction on what we really need.
I particularly fear that we somehow limit the search and by default, simply hire from within.  THAT is no solution.

We don't get opportunities to impact hiring matters at city hall very often.  And given what we endured in the Steve Barwick era, your thoughts CAN make a difference.  We need to replace Barwick AND hire an assistant city manager to replace aptly-named Barry Crook.  I know you have opinions.  I certainly do! 
Please take a moment and send a quick email today.

Oh, don't worry, this one isn't going away! 

Look for sobering updates in future issues on the so-called "public process" (can you say "illegitimate"??) that got us where we are today, as well as the results of an extensive forensic accounting process that will reveal the REAL project costs, including expenditures to-date, cost estimates and funding sources the city doesn't want you to see.

With our new council named, it's not too early to support them. In that vein, The Red Ant says, "PLEASE sign the petition" HERE.  This is important. It's not a legal document nor is it binding, but it WILL show Torre and his new council that the community encourages them to give the new city office building a good hard look. Please add your name.  (You do not have to be an Aspen voter.)
If you agree that Aspen can do SO MUCH BETTER, join us!  Let's work together to build the best building we can.


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