Interviews set up for EDP specialist position next week

A piece of paper doesn't necessarily represent a person.

That's the cautious approach the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership board is taking for its specialist hiring process.

Board members and EDP Interim Director Scott Ford are optimistic that one of its five candidates will make a good fit.

"You never know until you sit down with someone," said Dave Fleming, EDP board member and part of the hiring committee. "But, there's a good chance we'll find someone in that group. Considering what we were asking for, I thought we had pretty good candidates."

EDP is looking to find a replacement for its former director, Tim Gibbs, who left in April.

Applications were due to EDP's office in Craig City Hall on Nov. 30.

Under Ford's advice, the position was designated a "specialist" to represent the board's new prerogative to set the position's agenda, and also to tone down the expectations that one person could come in and create results on their own.

"The board has the understanding that they have a great responsibility to articulate the strategies, and work with this individual to implement them," Ford said.

The candidates all applied during the second and most recent application process.

They were the only applications received, Ford said.

The board decided to repost the position at its last meeting because the original employment ad was for a possible full-time job. The board felt it would be better to start slower, and start the job at part-time.

"We've come to the conclusion we can't afford a full-time director," EDP board chairman Scoot Cook said.

Applicants who applied during the first round did not reapply.

"We'd still consider them, but I have the suspicion that going to a part-time position knocked them out," Cook said. "I think they were looking for something full-time."

Interviews with the candidates are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Ford said.

"I would like to see us pretty well pointed in a direction by the next meeting (Wednesday)," Ford said.

Ford and the hiring committee - made up of board members Cook, Fleming, Audrey Danner, Nadine Daszkiewicz and Jerry Thompson - defined a list of qualities they will interview for, Ford said.

The committee worked with the rest of the board and narrowed a list of 20 down to the top four it thought would best suit the position.

In the interview, the committee wants to focus on real-world examples the candidates can identify to illustrate their qualifications in those areas, Ford said.

Three candidates have previous experience in economic development, Ford said. All have business experience.

"They are all strong in terms of meeting the qualification outline in the job description," he said.

All five candidates are from Steamboat Springs, which does not bother Ford, who is also a Steamboat Springs resident.

"I think the candidates have a good knowledge of the valley," he said. "I found (myself) to be quite widely accepted. The fact that I'm upstream of the valley doesn't matter."

If none of the candidates fit the mold the board created for the position, then none of them will be hired.

"We're not going to hire somebody just to have a warm body in here," Ford said. "This is a critical piece we need to have in place. It's important we do it right and move into 2008 and implement the strategies the board has identified."

In that case, the board probably would not jump into another hiring process right away, Ford added.

"The board would need to have a discussion on why nobody fit," Ford said. "I do not think that will happen, but I'm not discounting that possibility."

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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