Public meets South Fork town manager candidates

SOUTH FORK — Two of the four finalists for the South Fork town manager position showed up for a public meet and greet at the community center on Wednesday, Aug. 23 to answer questions from the attending crowd and to introduce themselves to the residents and guests of South Fork. The other two applicants dropped out from applying for the position earlier in the week, leaving Dan Hicks and Steven Marlenee as the remaining candidates for hire.

“I think we had a really positive turnout and the public asked a lot of really positive questions that showed which applicant is best for the position,” said South Fork Town Trustee Kris Steffens. Steffens, as well as the rest of the board, including Mayor Rodney Reed were in attendance to greet the public as they came and went throughout the evening. Both applicants spoke with large and small groups of people totally about 40 guests throughout the night.

“There was good participation and people that attended took the time to fill out the questionnaires we provided that will help with the hiring process,” continued Steffens. The questionnaires consisted of the name of the applicant and room for residents to voice any concerns or further questions about the two applicants that were collected at the end of the meeting. Several people voiced their desire to see the town continue to grow and move forward and concern that it would backtrack in the wake of recent changes including that of the town manager position.

Dan Hicks has been a resident and business owner in South Fork for 14 years. He and his wife own Mountain Lighthouse and Gallery. Hicks has over 40 years of management experience working for large businesses including Siemens, IBM and Rolm corporations. Following his corporate career, he worked as the chief operating officer for a “dot com” startup software development company and founded a multi-location color graphic printing company.

Hicks is the president of the River Island Ranch Property Owner’s Association, president of the Rio Grande Water Company and past president of South Fork Ranches Homeowner’s Association. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business and finance.

Steven Marlenee currently lives in Windsor and has over 10 years of experience as an energy industry manager and numerous years working with not-for-profit organizations focusing on off-highway recreation. Marlenee has volunteered for and lobbied for the support of outdoor recreation at both the federal and state level. He is an avid photographer and serves as a board and committee member on several outdoor recreation-related organizations, including the State Trails Winter Advisory Committee. He has Bachelor of Science degrees with honors in microbiology and medical technology.

Town officials plan to continue through the interview process, utilizing the data they received during the event provided by the public to choose the right fit for the position. When asked how long it might be before a new manager is hired, Steffens replied that there is no deadline for them to make that decision and that they would continue to work through the process.

In the meantime, Town Treasurer Amanda Hill was hired during the monthly meeting of the town board on Aug. 22 as the interim town manager and will be handling the duties for town staff until an applicant is chosen and hired.