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Wanted: ‘a progressive, visionary, and collaborative’ city manager

The recruiter hired to assist in finding the next Park City manager predicts there could be far fewer people seeking the job than there were when Tom Bakaly emerged from a field 122 candidates nearly a decade ago.

Bobbi Peckham, who is with the Sacramento, Calif.-based Peckham & McKenney, said in an interview the candidate fields for high-level openings in local governments have dropped in the last few years.

She said people were less interested in making a job move during the recession and there has been a wave of retirements in the public sector. She said, meanwhile, fewer people are choosing careers in public administration.

Peckham, at the time with a different firm, conducted the recruitment that ended with Bakaly being chosen as the city manager. He assumed the top City Hall position in early 2003. He left in August to become the city manager in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

"There’s a smaller number of candidates applying for city manager positions, across the board," Peckham said.

She said the field for the Park City position could number as low as between 60 and 80 candidates. Peckham, though, said Park City is a place that has done well.

Peckham said she anticipates the majority of the applications will be submitted by people in the Intermountain region and nearby states like California, places where the skiing and tourism industries are of significance.

"It’s an attractive opportunity based on the community itself and the successes the community has had," she said.

Peckham said housing prices — the most expensive in the state — are a key drawback while conducting a recruitment for a Park City government position. She also said the snowy weather could discourage some people from applying.

Peckham & McKenney won the contract to conduct the recruitment over eight other firms that sought the deal with City Hall. The Park City Council agreed to pay the firm $17,500 plus expenses of up to $7,500.

Peckham & McKenney has guaranteed the person who is hired stays for at least two years. If the person leaves during the two-year window, the firm will repeat the recruitment at no cost besides expenses.

Park City leaders hope Bakaly’s successor starts in mid-January.

In the last eight years, the firm has conducted recruitments for other mountain resorts in the West. Peckham noted finding city managers for places like Vail, Colo., Mountain Village, Colo., Durango, Colo., and Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Peckham & McKenney recently posted the Park City opening on its website. The deadline for applications is Oct. 22.

The text of the advertisement:

City Manager, Park City Municipal Corporation, Utah

Sitting at an elevation of 7,000 feet within Summit County, Utah, just 30 miles east of Salt Lake City, Park City (8,000 permanent pop.; 3M annual visitors) provides a small town atmosphere, strong sense of community, historic character, outstanding facilities and amenities, and an exceptional quality of life. Appointed by the Mayor, with advice/consent of a 5-member Council, the City Manager will oversee this financially secure, AA+ rated, high performance organization of 344 FTE’s and $69M budget (budgeting for outcomes process) with the goal to become "The Best Led and Managed Resort Town in America." A progressive, visionary, and collaborative local government professional is desired; resort and/or tourism experience is preferred, but not required. Bachelor’s degree in public/business administration or related field required; Master’s degree desirable. Competitive salary DOQ.

Filing deadline is October 22, 2012


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