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Lafayette Approves Contract with New City Administrator Fritz Sprague

January 3, 2019
Fritz Sprague talks with Ray Schlott on Dec. 6 during an open house with the finalists for Erie town administrator. Sprague was not chosen for the Erie post, but on Wednesday was officially appointed as Lafayette's next city administrator.

Lafayette leaders on Wednesday officially appointed Fritz Sprague as the new city administrator, authorizing an employment agreement that will pay him a $180,000 annual salary when he takes over the role Feb. 1.

Sprague, whose hiring was announced in the waning days of 2018, will replace longtime City Administrator Gary Klaphake, who is retiring after a roughly two-decade-long tenure.

Sprague was selected over the sole other finalist for the position, Centennial Deputy City Manager Elisha Thomas.

“The warmth and generosity and connection I feel with this community is amazing,” Sprague told council members Wednesday. “I look forward to serving as your next city administrator.”

City Council also approved an amendment to city code that allows Sprague 90 days to move to Lafayette (up from the traditional 30), a nod to the region’s particularly tight housing market at the moment, leaders said.

In 2016, Lafayette City Council approved a one-time exemption for Klaphake that allowed him to live outside the city.

According to his contract, the city will give Sprague a lump sum of $10,000 to cover all his moving-related expenses, including for temporary lodging.

The specifics of his agreement also dictate that Sprague will use his own car while working and will receive a monthly automobile allowance of $500.

If terminated for any other reason than “cause,” Sprague will receive roughly $90,000 in severance, according to his agreement.

Sprague served in Castle Rock’s government ranks for nearly 20 years (roughly 12 of them in his current role of deputy town manager), and was the assistant to the city manager in Commerce City from 1993 to 1998.

He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Eastern Washington University and holds a bachelor’s degree in government, according to a post on Castle Rock’s website.

Last month, he also vied for Erie’s town administrator job before town officials selected former Louisville City Manager Malcolm Fleming.

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

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