Schulte deal falls through, administrator search resumes


Staff Writer

Schulte Schulte

Former county administrator Greg Schulte will not be returning to the helm of Archuleta County, after all.

Following an executive session on Thursday, Sept. 5, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners announced that it was withdrawing its offer to Schulte and would hire a firm to search for the next Archuleta County administrator.

“The BOCC remains most appreciative of Greg Schulte’s past service to Archuleta County, unfortunately, at this time we were not able to reach an agreement on the terms of the contract,” board chair Clifford Lucero wrote in a statement Thursday.

When asked by SUN staff what aspect of the contract failed in negotiations with Schulte, Lucero said, “The BoCC has specific performance measures that will govern the county administrator. Despite his history of outstanding service to Archuleta County, we were not able to come to an agreement on the future expectations for the county administrator position.

“Moving forward, Archuleta County needs to be very specific of the direction we’re going to go, and that’s the main reason we couldn’t come up with an agreement with Greg.”

Lucero said the board was looking for certain performance measures to be accomplished in one year’s time, and indicated that the board and Schulte desired different levels of performance measures.

Schulte agreed that the breakdown occurred with the performance issues, and that he and the county were in agreement on all the compensation issues.

Schulte said his disagreement concerned whether the tasks could be accomplished in the set time period, and that there were, “goals that I felt needed additional clarity and explanation.”

“I didn’t feel like I could commit, since I didn’t know what I was committing to,” Schulte said.

Some of the performance measures the BoCC is interested in making a part of a county administrator contract include an economic development strategy and direct reports, Lucero explained.

One of the particular measures Schulte said he had an issue with was to design and implement an economic development strategy, with Schulte seeking more information on expectations and clarification on the intended outcome to know if the goal could be accomplished in one year.

Schulte added there were other goals about which he sought additional information, but said he didn’t receive the needed clarity.

“They withdrew the offer. I felt that I was willing to be flexible and continue with negotiations,” Schulte said.

In a work session held Tuesday morning, Lucero said no interim structure is set for after current administrator Jesse Smith’s October departure, with the desire to hire a search firm the first task for the board.

On Wednesday, Lucero and Mitzi Bowman, human resources administrator, met and chose search firm Mercer, with the cost not to exceed $22,000.

Lucero said the firm has a proven track record and is, “ready to hit the ground running.”

Schulte resigned from Archuleta County in November 2012 to take the job of assistant county administrative officer for San Luis Obispo County, Calif. Schulte served in that position from December 2012 until July 2013.

Smith was hired on a six-month contract in April, but elected to not renew the contract. Per the contract, his last day is Oct. 15.