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Committee named to search for new Summit County manager

Summit Land Conservancy
Preserving open space in Summit County is one of the many items a new county manager would address. This is a photo of Sargent Ranch near Coalville.

The committee hopes to have qualified candidates identified by the first of the year.

Nine Summit County residents are on the hiring committee to identify candidates to replace former County Manager Tom Fisher, who departed at the end of July.

Claudia McMullin is one of them. She served on the County Council for two terms, retiring her seat in 2016. During her tenure, she selected the last two county managers, Bob Jasper and Tom Fisher.

"So, having been through the process of making this decision, and also, you know, being on the county council for eight years, I just know how important this job is," McMullin said. "And that we gotta get the right person. The first important decision is made by the voters when they vote for the county council. And then the second biggest decision is the county manager."

She said the committee would be guided by specific requirements in the job description.

But, she said, there are a couple of minimum requirements, and having experience in a resort community is not one of them.
"Now, as far as requirements, I think there's two, neither of which is that you have worked in a resort," McMullin said. "And one of which is, I'm now going from memory, a four-year college degree and I think five years of relevant experience. Relevant is not defined as working in a mountain town."

Christina Miller is also on the committee. As an attorney in the Miller law firm and having sat on the Fire District Administrative Control Board, she’s an experienced negotiator. She said hiring a calm, communicative person who can balance the complicated issues of the various county interests is important to the county’s future operations.

"He (Fisher) was amazing in what he did, and hearing people out, and bringing the counties together," Miller said. "I sat on the Fire District Administrative Control Board, so I sat in on negotiations. So, I've dealt with some of those intricacies before in terms of negotiating contracts, at least from the county employees' perspective. I thought I might have something to add from the county employer perspective."

In their meeting on Tuesday, McMullen said the committee selected Andrew Gorgey from the recruiting firm Columbia Limited. He will work closely with the committee, county employees and council to understand the community and identify qualified candidates.

"Overall, Andrew just basically shined above the others," McMullin said. "He really was incredibly impressive. And he had deep experience in recruiting for city and county managers in the West in ski resort towns and communities like Summit County. That was something that for sure we took note of."

The committee will meet with Gorgey as needed throughout the selection process. McMullin said they plan to present qualified candidates to the county council by January 1, 2023.

Summit County Manager Selection Committee
Betsy Wallace
Christina Miller
Claudia McMullin
Tony Tyler
Tom Smart
Mark Marsh
Margaret Plane
Jeff Young
Tal Adair

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.