Cottonwood moves to reach out to other firms in city manager search

Doug Bartosh

Doug Bartosh

Cottonwood -- Cottonwood City Council is choosing to seek outside resources in searching for a new city manager. Current City Manager Doug Bartosh announced his retirement early this year. He will be retiring in January 2019.

Last month, council directed staff to explore options in using cooperative agreements to hire a human resources consultant to aid in the search.

Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski noted that while council would still be heavily involved in the hiring process, utilizing an outside firm would significantly ease the workload.

Staff reached out to a total of five different firms and received two responses. One from Novak Consulting Group and the other from Slavin Management Consultants. Both of these groups quoted their services at around $20,000.

Right now, city funds are not budgeted to enlist these kinds of services but may be budgeted for the upcoming budget year.

Cottonwood Vice Mayor Kyla Allen said she would prefer to have the final stages of the hiring process happen after the election.

“It needs to be the decision of the sitting council,” she said. “If we get three new people in here, we need to get their input and not the people who are sitting here now.”

Council member Deb Althouse said that while she feels having the new sitting council do the last stages of the hiring process is a good idea, she’s worried about the logistics in timing.

“I agree the input is needed but it’s the timeline and getting it done that I also think is important,” she said.

Elinksi said he thinks it would be wise to include council candidates in the hiring process in general. City Attorney Steve Horton said that would be allowed.

“They can be included and provide input.” he said. “What happens with the input will be decided among the seven incumbents at the time.”

On Tuesday, council directed Human Resources Manager Amanda Wilber to move forward with having interested firms prepare presentations for council.

Next meeting

Next Tuesday, Cottonwood City Council will be holding a regular meeting 6:00 p.m. at  the Council Chambers Building, 826 North Main St.

Cottonwood Police Department will be presenting their 2017 annual report. Council will also hold the annual review of City Magistrate Douglas LaSota. LaSota has served the city since 2009. In April 2017, council reappointed LaSota for a two-year contract.

“The city council shall review and evaluate Mr. LaSota’s performance as presiding Magistrate upon his completion of one year of service. These performance evaluations may or may not result in an adjustment to Mr. LaSota’s base salary at the sole discretion of the city council and subject to available resources,” according to LaSota’s employment agreement.

Council may convene into executive session for this agenda item.

All meetings are open to the public and can also be livestreamed on the VerdeValleyTV YouTube channel.

-- Follow Kelcie Grega on Twitter @KelcieGrega

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