(Neb.)-Chadron Resumes The Search For A New City Manager Listen
(CHADRON)-The Chadron city council is back to the drawing board in terms of hiring a new city manager. Mayor Karin Fischer said she received word from city manager-elect Chuck Leyden on Monday that he would not be taking the position in Chadron after all.
Fischer explains some of the initial feelings the news brought. “I think disappointment, because we thought we were at the end of the process and just about had it finished," she said. "It seemed that he was very interested in coming to be here. So that was kind of a blow when we received that call, because I thought we were bargaining in good faith. But I did say several times you can never say anything for sure, and so here we go.”
Leyden said he was all primed to accept the offer from the city when he received another offer from Colorado last Friday that he had applied for in December. He said he “wasn’t expecting this to happen,” and “the decision wasn’t an easy one.” He said he really had to evaluate which job to accept, because he related well to the city’s way of doing business and was already planning for a future in Chadron. Although ready for the move, when being honest with himself, Leyden said he did have a few concerns. Waiting for 10 years to be vested, when he is now 56, worried him slightly, and the council’s split decision of 3-2 in hiring him also crossed his mind.
Leyden said his gut decision led him to the other offer, a governmental job in fleet management, which he specializes in, with higher pay and better benefits. He said it didn’t cross his mind to try for better pay with the city after the other offer came in, because he knew council members were trying to be conscientious with city funds and didn’t think that would be fair to the citizens of Chadron.
More than the job itself or money though, Leyden said his wife is from Colorado, and they have children and grandchildren there.
He said there is a lot to appreciate about Chadron, especially the citizens he met who made him feel comfortable, and he said he would have been happy in Chadron. He also hopes he hasn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. He said, “I just hope for the best for Chadron. I feel like I know what we could have done there to get over the past problems, but I guess that wasn’t really meant to be….I feel bad, I really do, but I had to make the best decision for our family and our future.”
Mayor Fischer said it will take council members a couple of days to regroup, but they will be meeting next week to begin again. “Now we’ll have a meeting with the council on the 23rd of April and decide where we go from here," said Fischer. "We’ll just see how the council reacts to this. You know, we really haven’t had time to absorb it and decide where we’re going.”
The special meeting on April 23rd will begin at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.
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