The search for Tom Bakaly’s replacement starts soon |

The search for Tom Bakaly’s replacement starts soon

Jay Hamburger The Park Record

City Hall will hire a recruiting firm to assist in the search for a city manager to succeed Tom Bakaly, Mayor Dana Williams said on Monday, indicating it could be midwinter before someone is in the position on a permanent basis.

In an interview, the mayor said he hopes a recruiting firm is hired by the time Bakaly leaves. Bakaly has not set a departure date. He is expected to begin work as the city manager of Hermosa Beach, Calif., in early September. Under that schedule, Bakaly would probably leave City Hall sometime in mid-August or later in that month.

Williams said City Hall will conduct a nationwide search for the next city manager. The elected officials on Monday afternoon met in a 2 1/2-hour closed-door session to discuss the hiring process. State law allows governmental bodies like city councils to meet behind closed doors when discussing personnel matters.

The mayor said the elected officials discussed filling the city manager post on an interim basis as the search is conducted. He said Diane Foster, the deputy city manager, will not automatically be appointed to the interim position based on the job she holds. She is under consideration for the interim position, though, the mayor said. He said the City Council will appoint an interim city manager at a public meeting on Thursday.

The deputy city manager oversees the day-to-day operations of City Hall in the absence of the city manager as well working on a diverse set of projects. Foster has held the position since earlier in the year. She has a business background and managed the municipal government’s environmental affairs prior to her promotion to her current position.

Williams said he anticipates a search committee of City Councilors and City Hall staffers, perhaps up to nine people, will be formed. He said he does not expect the public will be involved in the search and hiring process.

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The mayor declined to comment about the possibility of City Hall staffers submitting their names for the permanent position. There is not a clear successor to Bakaly within the municipal ranks as Bakaly was at the time of the departure of Toby Ross as the city manager in 2002.

Williams said he wants Bakaly’s permanent successor to be familiar with the economies of resort communities, growth issues and have a background in government positions.

"A city manager has to be eloquent on all of those, informed, educated," Williams said, adding it would be nice if the person is bilingual in English and Spanish.

The person will need to "buy into the culture and brand that Park City is," the mayor said.

"Both the residents and municipality feel it’s a unique place that has an extremely unique economy," he said.

Williams said he expects more than 100 people will apply for the permanent position. Bakaly in 2003 beat out a field of 121 other people who sought the job. The elected officials of the era, including Williams, indicated Bakaly was the clear choice from the field to succeed Ross.

The cost of the recruitment for Bakaly’s successor was not clear at the beginning of the week.