As we as a community search for a new city manager, I submit the following: Durango needs to switch from a council-manager format to a mayor-council format, wherein the mayor is elected separately from council, receives a professional salary and is responsible for significant budgetary control.
A city manager runs a government like a business – which includes growing the business. Increases in wages and personnel are constantly ongoing.
As an actual member of the community (instead of a hired gun from some glitzy mountain town like say, I dunno, Ketchum, Idaho?) the boss would hopefully have more accountability to the town than someone making 10 times more salary than the average working stiff in Durango.
Three years ago, I decided to run for City Council. This decision was largely based on my interactions with the city manager. When I approached him with a legitimate complaint, he told me, “I work for the City Council. If you have a complaint, go to them.”
So I did. I was met with a great deal of “Ron-splaining” from the then-mayor, which left me feeling less than satisfied.
I’m gob-smacked that during the city manager’s more than 10 years at the city, I was the only person who submitted a formal complaint regarding his behavior. After about five months, I got a response from the manager himself stating that he was not answerable to the Board of Ethics.
Lame and unacceptable.
Let’s see what the CBI uncovers in their lengthy investigation.