Commissioners narrow search for administrator

Mesa County commissioners are expected to narrow their search for a new county administrator from five candidates to two or three finalists.

The commissioners recently interviewed five candidates and are expected to soon select two or three finalists.

The latest steps in the process follow a national search that began shortly after Jon Peacock resigned as Mesa County administrator in July, citing family reasons. More than 50 people applied for the position.

The five candidates are:

Melinda Calrton of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., who recently worked as Vernon Township manager in New Jersey.

Tom Fisher of Grand Junction, who currently works as Mesa County regional services director.

Michael Freilinger of Des Moines, Iowa, who recently worked as Osceola County manager in Florida.

Gregory Lewis of Lockport, N.Y., who works as Niagara County manager.

James Mullen of Colorado Springs, who recently worked as a project director for Actus Lend Lease, a public and private community developer.

Stefani Conley, an assistant county administrator who has served as acting administrator since Peacock resigned, initially applied to become administrator but subsequently withdrew that application.

The county administrator reports directly to the three-member board of commissioners and serves as chief executive officer of the county organization. The administrator guides day-to-day operations of the county government in accordance with the policies, goals and objectives established by the elected board of commissioners. The county administrator position is non-political in nature.

The commissioners said they’re looking for an experienced administrator with strong budgeting and finance skills who can maintain positive relationships with other entities and agencies in the community.

Peacock joined Mesa County in July 2002 as assistant county administrator. He took over as interim administrator in March 2005 and was appointed to the post three months later. Peacock said he decided to take time off from his career to spend time on family business matters.