The Silverton Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to select William “Bill” Gardner as its top pick for town administrator.
Town staff will complete final negotiations, and the board will consider Gardner’s contract July 6.
“Should the contract be approved, my first priority will be healing. I hope I can do my part to help the community heal after 18 months of bitter conflict,” he said.
Gardner was selected from about 10 candidates and was one of five invited to Silverton for interviews in June, said Interim Town Manager Mark Garcia.
All five members of the Town Board present for the meeting Wednesday voted for Gardner. Two board members were absent.
The Town Board voted to fire both their town administrator and public-works director in September. The two had been feuding for months, and the board had asked them to sign a “niceness contract” in July 2014.
Gardner is a Silverton resident, and he is familiar with the continuing turmoil in town that led to a recall election in February, in which the incumbent prevailed.
“Being a peacemaker is something that I’m very comfortable with,” he said.
Gardner worked for decades in law-enforcement leadership. He has been the Grand Junction chief of police, Mesa County undersheriff, La Plata County sheriff and Silverton chief of police.
Gardner also has a bachelor’s degree in operational management from Colorado Christian University and a masters in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.
If the contract is approved, Gardner will start work July 7.
In addition to healing, he sees housing, economic development and supporting low-income workers as priorities.