Last updated 7:42PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
New Cortez City Manager Takes Reins
(2007-09-17)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A new city manager takes the reins of government in Cortez today.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: The first actual day on the job as Cortez City Manager for 41-year old Jay Harrington was Thursday.
That was two days after Cortez City Councilors formally approved him to succeed Hal Shepherd, who is relinquishing the manager's post after eight years.
Harrington says Shepherd, whose last day on the job was Friday, is leaving him in good shape as far as the city is concerned.
HARRINGTON: FROM THE CITY GOVERNANCE PERSPECTIVE, IT'S GOT A STRONG STAFF AND IT'S ON GOOD FINANCIAL FOOTING, AND A RELATIVELY GOOD LEVEL OF POLITICAL STABILITY FOR THE AREA, SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S ON VERY GOOD STANDING, IT'S JUST HOW TO MAINTAIN THAT AND PUSH IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
Harrington will earn 90-thousand dollars per year as Cortez city manager.
He's not new to the area, having served as La Plata County Senior Planner prior to stints as city manager in Pagosa Springs and Telluride.
HARRINGTON: I'VE BEEN A MANAGER, GOSH, FOR QUITE A BIT, THIRTEEN PLUS YEARS AS A TOWN MANAGER JUST IN THE SOUTHWEST OF COLORADO SO WORKING HERE KIND OF FITS INTO THAT. I'VE SURROUNDED CORTEZ BETWEEN DURANGO, PAGOSA AND TELLURIDE SO IT'S KIND OF A LOGICAL NEXT STEP FOR US.
Though he's still surveying the landscape, Harrington says some issues Cortez faces are already obvious.
HARRINGTON: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND MAIN STREET ISSUES RE BIG ONES FOR THE COMMUNITY. WE ARE STARTING TO GROW A LITTLE BIT TOO AND HOW TO DEAL WITH SOME OF THOSE ISSUES AS THE REST OF THE SOUTHWEST HAS BEEN OVER THE LAST DECADE.
Harrington says air quality issues, especially as they pertain to energy production in the region and the proposed Desert Rock Power plant will also be significant for Southwest Colorado.
For now, Harrington says he's ready to "get going."
Meanwhile, another candidate for the Cortez job apparently has landed a similar post elsewhere.
According to published reports, former La Plata County Manager Michael Scannell was one of three finalists for the Camp Verde, Arizona town manager's post, and was formally selected during a special city council meeting Friday afternoon.
Camp Verde is located 40-miles South of Flagstaff, just off I-17, with a 2004 population estimated at just over 10-thousand.
Scannell resigned his job with La Plata County effective September 4th.
The new position moves him closer to family in Arizona.
The search for a new Durango City Manager has also passed a milestone.
Friday was the deadline for those interested, to apply to an executive search firm hired to help find a replacement for Bob Ledger, who resigned after 24 years, earlier this year.
That firm will screen applicants and whittle down the list to the most qualified.
Durango City Councilors will then select finalists for the job, who are expected to visit Durango in mid October for interviews, tours, and community meetings.
A final decision isn't expected until early November.
From KSUT Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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