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City hires interim administrator and city clerk

by Larry Patrick

WALSENBURG- Six weeks after Alan Hein resigned as Walsenburg City Administrator, the City Council completed their interviews of interim candidates.  Last Wednesday they made a decision to hire former Pueblo City Manager Don Saling.  The council interviewed two other candidates two weeks ago, one from Pagosa Springs and the other from Black Hawk.

    Saling has worked in various positions for both Pueblo and Pueblo West during the past decade.  He is currently the Homeland Security Coordinator for the South Region of Colorado which includes Huerfano, Las Animas, Pueblo, Custer and Fremont Counties.  He will maintain those duties and work for Walsenburg part-time until a fulltime city administrator is hired.  The council has not begun a search for a new city administrator.  Beth Neece, the Assistant City Administrator for Walsenburg, has been handling the day-to-day duties due to Hein’s resignation in late July.

    On Lori Sheldon’s last day as Walsenburg City Clerk, the City Council hired her replacement.  Four candidates were interviewed in city council chambers at their special Wednesday meeting last week.  Juanita Cordova, Debbie Bustos, Wanda Britt and Susan Blake were asked a series of questions by council members.  Afterwards, Mayor Quintana asked for a nomination from the five other council members present. 

    Councilwoman Erin Jerant made a motion to hire Wanda Britt, and it was seconded by Dave Mockmore.  The council members voted 4-2 in favor.  City Councilmen Rick Jennings and Craig Lessar were not present at the meeting and the council has not replaced James England who resigned last month. 

    Britt worked for the District Court in the Huerfano County Courthouse for several years.  She is available to begin immediately.  She will receive a salary of $200 per month as City Clerk and will take on additional duties for the city that will pay her in the neighborhood of $25,000 per year plus benefits.

    The city clerk’s position is an elected one.  Britt will have to seek re-election in November of 2011 as she fills out the term begun by Sheldon.