Last updated 9:58AM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Durango Meets City Manager Candidates
(2007-10-19)
(ksut) - LEAD HOST: Durango residents crowded around the remaining three candidates for the city manager position last night, to listen to and have conversations with each.

KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner reports:

Sarah: Affordable housing, growth, development and open space, were among the topics that were brought up by the public with the three remaining candidates for the Durango city manager's position.
The three remaining finalists include Ron Leblanc, Ketchum, Idaho city manager, Ridgeway town manager Greg Clifton and lastly deputy manager for Arvada, Bill Ray.
After people got a chance to eat, drink and mingle with each of the candidates at the train museum, we asked them whom they thought would be the best man for the job.

MAN ON STREET 1: WELL I THINK THE GENTLEMEN RON FROM KETCHUM HAS A LOT OF THE SAME SIMILARITIES THAT WE WILL BE FACING, SO I THINK HE WOULD BE THE STRONGER OF THE CANDIDATES BUT THEY ALL HAVE THEIR STRENGTHS.

MAN ON STREET 2: WELL I'VE BEEN IMPRESSED WITH ALL THREE OF THE CANDIDATES. I THINK EACH OF THEM HAVE THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL STRENGTHS AND IT WOULD BE HARD FOR ME TO MAKE A DECISION BETWEEN THE THREE OF THEM RIGHT NOW. IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT WHEN YOU HAVE A FEW MINUTES, FIVE/SIX MINUTES OF TIME TO TALK WITH THEM.

MAN ON STREET 3: YOU KNOW THEY'RE ALL REALLY GOOD AND I THINK THAT OUR COMMUNITY WOULD BE WELL SERVED BY ANY OF THEM. AND THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OR THE JOY IS IN THE DETAIL.

Based on meeting the finalists some people knew who they wanted to win however some only wanted to tell Durango city councilors.

MAN ON STREET 4: AND OUT OF THAT ACTUALLY I'VE KIND OF COME TO A FAVORITE AND I'LL BE SHARING THAT WITH THE CITY COUNCIL. (WILL YOU SHARE WITH US HERE?) UH NO I WON'T.

Durango city councilor Renee parsons, nosed around the different groups to see the how the public was responding to the candidates.

PARSONS: I think it went really well. A lot of people were clustered around the three candidates and I stepped into a couple of those discussions and eaves dropped. And I think they were asking good questions. The candidates were sharing their views and their thoughts. I think everyone came away pretty impressed by the quality of the three individuals.

Leblanc says he enjoys being put in front of and meeting the people of Durango.

LEBLANC: I think the publics been great. I've had several people come up to me and ask me different questions and kind of put me on the spot so it's fun. That's what my jobs all about.

Clifton talks some of the issues that individuals spoke with him about.

CLIFTON: OH I HEAR ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING QUITE A BIT. AND SECOND TO THAT MAYBE PARKS AND TRAILS, OPEN SPACE. WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT YOUTH PROGRAMS AND THE YOUTH CORE AND THINGS RELATED TO THAT. BUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING WOULD TOP THE LIST MOST CERTAINLY.

While ray believes that this position for him is a match made in heaven.

RAY: AMONG OTHER THINGS I'VE BEEN THE CITY MANAGER IN PAGOSA SPRINGS, I'VE WORK WITH THE SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE, I WAS THE CITY MANAGER IN CORTEZ. SO I KNOW SOUTHWEST COLORADO WELL. THIS OPPORTUNITY REALLY BRINGS TOGETHER TWO OF MY PASSIONS, THE PASSION OF WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING AND THE PASSION FOR SOUTHWEST COLORADO. SO IT'S JUST AN OPPORTUNITY MADE IN HEAVEN FOR ME.

City council is conducting interviews with the candidates this morning. Parsons' says they're looking forward to make a decision relatively quickly for the candidate to start by the 1st of the year.

From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.

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