County admin finalists named


Staff Writer

Five finalists have been named in the hunt for a new administrator for Archuleta County.

The finalists were announced Wednesday afternoon and consist of one local candidate and four from out of town.

In no particular order, the candidates are Todd Starr, of Pagosa Springs, Brenton Lewis of Holdrege, Neb., Peter Kampfer of Raton, N.M., Edward Gil de Rubio of Bristol, R.I., and Jesse Smith of Montrose, Colo.

Starr currently serves as county attorney and interim county administrator, beginning in the position of county attorney in 2009. Prior to that, Starr served as county attorney for Dolores County from 2000 to 2009.

Starr holds a B.S. from the Graceland University School of Business Administration, a J.D. from Creighton University and an LL.M. from the Boston University Morin Center for Banking Law.

Lewis is currently self-employed at a ranch in White Deer, Texas, the job beginning in July of 2011. Prior to that, Lewis served as city administrator for the City of Minden, Neb., from 1992 until 2011.

Lewis holds a B.S. in business administration in management from West Texas State University and has completed some course work for a master’s of public administration from the University of Nebraska.

Kampfer currently serves as the city manager for the City of Raton, N.M., beginning that post in February of 2012. Prior to that, he served as city manager for the City of Colorado City, Texas, beginning in October 2009.

Kampfer holds a B.S. in earth science from Texas Tech University, Certified Public Manager certification from University of Texas, graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy, took the TEEX Basics Economic Development course from Texas A&M University, attended the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma, and holds an Inc. Management certificate from the National Business Incubation Association.

Gil de Rubio most recently served as the city manager for the City of Trinidad, Colo., beginning in 2010. Prior to that, he was a consultant with E&E Associates in Santa Fe, N.M. from 2008 to 2010.

Gil de Rubio holds an associate of applied science in business administration from Suffolk College, a B.S. in management from Johnson State College and a master’s in public administration from Sage Graduate School.

Smith currently serves as county manager for Montrose County (Colorado), beginning in 2010. Prior to that, he served as assistant county manager in Garfield County (Colorado).

He holds a B.S.B.A. in management, a master’s in management and a Ph.D. in education and management.

A total of 35 applications were received for the position, said Mitzi Bowman, human resources administrator.

To narrow down the applications to the finalists, commissioner Clifford Lucero said the county formed a committee consisting of representatives of outside agencies — Joanne Spina (City of Durango), Brad Cochennet (Pagosa Springs Medical Center), Ken Charles (Department of Local Affairs), John Ranson (former commissioner) and J.R. Ford (business owner).

That committee, Lucero said, narrowed the applications to eight, forwarding those applications to the commissioners.

With those eight, each commissioner independently ranked his top five, giving those results to Bowman to tabulate, Lucero explained.

Lucero said the plan is to interview the five candidates on Jan. 11, with a decision made and an offer extended that week.

The interview process, Lucero said, will be threefold — one with the outside committee used to narrow applications, one with the Board of County Commissioners, and one with an internal committee comprising chosen county officials and staff.

Greg Schulte, former county administrator, resigned in November to take the position of assistant county administrator for San Luis Obispo County, in California. That county has 2,400 employees and a yearly budget just short of a half billion dollars.

Following Schulte’s resignation, Starr was appointed to serve as interim county administrator.