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Last updated 3:46PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Introducing Durango Manager Finalists, Part 1
(2007-10-10)
Bill Ray Jr, one of four finalists for the Durango Manager's position, is former Town Manager of Pagosa Springs and City Manager in Cortez. (Courtesy: Bill Ray, Jr.)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: In what some are saying is a historic decision, Durango City Councilors could select a new city manager, perhaps before month's end.
Today through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, you can hear from each of the four finalists for the job.
They will be in Durango next week to meet city councilors, city staff and the public.
Here's KSUT's Victor Locke with more.

VICTOR: The four men selected as finalists to replace Bob Ledger, who served almost 25 years as city manager before stepping down this summer, came from a group of 60-people who submitted letters of interest to an executive search firm retained by the city.
That firm narrowed the list for city council to ten, from which the four were chosen October 2nd.
They are only candidates who will need to be identified under Colorado Law.
Since council's announcement of the finalists a little over a week ago, we've spoken with each, asking them the same five questions, to try and learn more about them.
Today, in the first of three reports, the finalists they tell us why they applied for the job and what qualifications they have.
All four candidates are either natives of or have ties of some sort to Colorado.
Bill Ray, Jr. is perhaps the most familiar of the four.
Ray says he applied because he wants to return to this corner of the state.
He's presently Deputy City Manager in the Denver surburb of Arvada.
RAY: I'VE BEEN THE MANAGER OF PAGOSA SPRINGS, I'VE BEEN THE MANAGER OF CORTEZ, I'VE WORKED FOR THE SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE, I'VE BEEN A PLANNER, I'VE BEEN A PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR, I'VE SPENT A YEAR RUNNING THE ARVADA CENTER HERE IN ADDITION TO MY DUTIES AS THE DEPUTY CITY MANAGER. I'VE WORKED IN COLORADO ALL MY LIFE. I THINK I UNDERSTAND SOUTHWEST COLORADO AND I THINK I CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS OF MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY BUILDING.
The only other present Coloradan seeking the job is the current Ridgeway Town Manager and Ouray City Attorney Greg Clifton.
A native of Bethesda, Maryland, Clifton has been in Colorado since 1975.
He holds degrees from CSU, CU and University of Denver College of Law.
He says the Durango job provides a unique opportunity for professional growth.
CLIFTON: THE ENVIRONMENT THERE, THE COMMUNITY THERE, THE CLIMATE, KIND OF EVERYTHING CONSIDERED IS REALLY ATTRACTIVE TO ME, IT HAS BEEN FOR SOME TIME. I THINK I BRING TO THE TABLE A PRETTY BALANCED EXPERIENCE AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL BOTH IN TERMS OF MANAGEMENT AND MY DUTIES AS A CITY ATTORNEY AS WELL. WORKING IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO I PROBABLY HAVE A PRETTY GOOD HANDLE OF ISSUES THAT WOULD BE A LITTLE BIT MORE REGIONAL BASED, THINGS SPECIFIC TO WESTERN COLORADO.
Another finalist, Ron LeBlanc, is presently city administrator in Ketchum, Idaho.
He graduated from Colorado University, and worked as a deputy city manager in Arvada as well as holding city manager jobs in several other communities over the last 28 years.
LEBLANC: I ACTUALLY CONSIDER COLORADO TO BE HOME. DURANGO IS UNIQUE IN MANY ASPECTS. IT PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO MANAGE A DECENT SIZED ORGANIZATION, TO BE IN THE MOUNTAINS AND HAVE ACCESS TO ALL THOSE AMENITIES I'VE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO. FOR THOSE REASONS I FIND DURANGO VERY ATTRACTIVE.
Ketchum is home to Sun Valley Ski resort, which LeBlanc says gives him experience perfect for the Durango job.
LEBLANC: I HAVE A STRONG BACKGROUND IN TOURISM AND TOURISM RELATED ECONOMIES. I'VE MANAGED ORGANIZATIONS WITH AS MANY AS 800 EMPLOYEES SO THE SIZE OF THE ORGANIZATION IS COMFORTABLE TO ME. I HAVE A STRONG FINANCE BACKGROUND IN BUDGETING. I'VE PUT TOGETHER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLANS AND I'VE DONE QUITE A BIT OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO TRY TO BRING THE TEAM TOGETHER AND BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR THE CITY.
Another finalist, Grand Junction native Scott Trainor, says he also wants to return to Southwest Colorado.
He's been city manager of Ontario, Oregon for the last five years after serving five years as city manager of Cedar Hills Utah.
TRAINOR: MY LEADERSHIP ABILITIES AND MY ABILITIES TO WORK WITH THE STAFF TO GET THEM IN LINE WITH THE GOALS OF THE MAYOR AND THE COUNCIL. THAT'S REALLY HOW I'VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL HERE AND I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO TRANSLATE THAT SUCCESS INTO DURANGO.
We asked each of the finalists what they felt were the top issues facing Durango and how they'd address them if they were city manager.
You can hear their answers to that question, in our next report, tomorrow at this same time.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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