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Erie, Lafayette Poised to Install New City Administrators by 2019

November 20, 2018

The Erie Board of Trustees is poised to fill the city administrator's post left vacant by Arthur "A.J." Krieger's ousted earlier this year.

Both Erie and Lafayette are primed to make hiring decisions to fill their respective city manager seats by year’s end, likely marking a new direction for the communities.

While both are perched at the front lines of the Boulder County fracking debate — Lafayette continues to negotiate its regulations in the abstract, while Erie is advancing reformed local control in the form of renewed operator agreements — the towns also remain locked in a battle with each other over land at U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road, site of Erie’s Nine Mile Corner development .

The way the communities approach those options moving forward could stem from the managerial styles of their respective new administrators.

By definition, municipal administrators serve at the direction of their elected leaders, though the opinion of the person in the role is often reflected in board decisions.

After spending the better part of the last year finding candidates, the towns are both scheduled in the coming weeks to choose from a culled list.

The Erie Board of Trustees has selected six candidates, according to Amy Teetzel, Erie’s administrative operations manager. Early next month, the town will hold a meet-and-greet with the finalists before trustees make a hiring decision in a Dec. 8 executive session.

“The hope is to have (the town administrator) start by January,” Teetzel said.

The position’s vacancy has been one of controversy in recent months, beginning with former Town Administrator Arthur “A.J.” Krieger’s ouster this spring , just weeks after a new board of trustees with an overhauled agenda was installed.

A spate of staff exits have colored town business in the intervening months, with many former employees following Krieger to serve under him in Firestone, where he has been interim town manager since May.

Lafayette’s process has been less eventful; after nearly two decades, the city is poised to replace longtime City Administrator Gary Klaphake, who will retire at the end of the year.

The planned resident engagement process early next month includes time for public input and a special session for city council to publicly interview candidates, a finalist meet-and-greet reception and a final public deliberation, according to the city’s website.

Officials have said a new city administrator will be installed at the beginning of next year.

As Erie wades through its approach to oil and gas reform — the board of trustees recently approved a controversial operator agreement with driller Crestone Peak Resources — a new town administrator likely also will help shepherd the town’s latest development ambitions along Interstate 25.

Town leaders last month approved a $6.4 million deal for roughly 255 acres of land near the intersection of Erie Parkway and I-25 , ushering in the town’s stake of the development boom playing out along the corridor. According to a master plan for the region, the land will be the site of large-scale retail, office space and high-density housing.

Lafayette also is poised for growth, with plans along the city’s fringes for larger retailers and housing options, including a nearly 700-unit apartment complex near U.S. 287 and Dillon Road. Additionally, the city is scheduled early next year to reconvene an overhaul to its oil and gas regulations initially stalled this summer .

Anthony Hahn: 303-473-1422, hahna@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/_anthonyhahn

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