Diane Foster, the interim Park City manager since the departure of Tom Bakaly last August, said on Tuesday she will seek the permanent position as Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council launch an internal recruitment to name Bakaly's successor.
Foster said the elected officials' decision to conduct the internal recruitment, announced on Monday, was a "vote of confidence" in the management team of City Hall. She said staffers weathered the departure of Bakaly well. The mayor and City Council support the structure and culture of City Hall, she said.
Foster has worked for the municipal government since the spring of 2008, when she was hired as the environmental sustainability manager. She was named the deputy city manager in the spring of 2012. She spent 22 years in the private sector, including time in the high-tech industry, American Skiing Company and backcountry.com.
Foster since Bakaly's departure has twice said publicly she would not seek the permanent position. Last fall, as the elected officials were in the early days of the city manager recruitment, Foster indicated she had been the deputy city manager for just six months prior to Bakaly leaving to become a city manager in Southern California.
In early January, meanwhile, Foster said she would not submit her name as Williams and the City Council were preparing for what had been anticipated to be another national recruitment. She said then she did not see herself as eligible since she was involved as the interim city manager in a first unsuccessful recruitment.
Williams and the City Council on Monday issued a prepared statement describing the internal recruitment, saying it is the "next logical step in the process and minimizes the potential delay, uncertainty and expense of a second national search."
The six elected officials will serve as the search committee, and they will review the applications and interview the candidates, the statement says. The position was posted on a City Hall website on Monday morning. Applications are due by noon on Friday.
The first recruitment, a national one, unfolded in the fall and early winter. More than 90 people submitted applications. The City Council, though, could not reach a unanimous decision on any of the finalists.
City Councilman Alex Butwinski, who is serving as the mayor pro tem this week while Williams is on a family trip, said on Monday nobody from inside City Hall applied for the position during the first recruitment.
"We're open-mindedly looking at any internal candidate who applies, with qualifications," Butwinski said.
Butwinski said the elected officials could conduct interviews of the people who apply as early as next week. A selection could be made as early as March 7, next Thursday. An announcement could be made the week after, once a contract is negotiated, he said.
If the elected officials are unable to reach an agreement on the hiring of someone internally, another national recruitment will be conducted, he said.