Frisco close to having town manager |

Frisco close to having town manager

Summit Daily/Julie Sutor Frisco town manager candidate Michael Penny holds his daughter Anna at a candidate reception Thursday afternoon in Frisco. Penny currently heads the town staff in Ouray. The reception was part of a two-day tour and interview process for the position, which has been vacant since November.

FRISCO – The town of Frisco is just days away from having a new town manager, a position that has been vacant since November, when the council dismissed former town manager Alan Briley.

On Thursday and Friday, five finalists from three states took a whirlwind tour of the town, which included interviews, a reception and briefings by town staff.

“We had some really outstanding candidates, and I think everybody was impressed with all of them,” said Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen. “We were obviously looking for leadership qualities, integrity and experience in financial management, and I think we found a lot of those qualities in all the candidates.”

The five candidates interviewed not only with the town council, but also with town managers from other municipalities, including Gunnison, Steamboat Springs and Frasier.

Among the list of candidates is interim town manager Theresa Casey, who served as assistant town manager prior to Briley’s termination.

The other candidates are Jerry Gibbs of Park City, Utah; Richard Lessner of Mt. Clemens, Mich.; Mary Ann Parrot of Westminster; and Michael Penny of Ouray.

Gibbs is now the director of Public Works in Park City, a position he held during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Lessner is the city manager in Mt. Clemens and has devoted 24 years of service to local government.

Parrot serves as Westminster’s finance director. She has also worked in local government in Florida and Michigan.

Penny is the city administrator in Ouray and has 10 years of service in local government.

“When I graduated, my first job was as a police cadet,” Penny said. “One of the first things I had to do was wash the chief’s car.”

Penny made an arrangement with Frisco Police Chief Tom Wickman offering to wash the chief’s car for old time’s sake, should he be selected.

According to Zurbriggen, the months-long search process is very near its conclusion.

“We’re in a mode where we’ve established a direction,” Zurbriggen said, noting that he could not provide further information because the selection is a personnel matter.

Zurbriggen did say that he thinks the town will be able to avoid a “bad fit,” the reason given for Briley’s termination.

“I feel a thousand percent better than I did (during the previous town manager selection process),” Zurbriggen added.

The mayor estimated that the council will make its decision within the next 10 days.

“The process was really good,” he said. “(The headhunting agency) and the town staff, led by Chief Wickman, did a super job of organizing the whole thing.”

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