Friday, February 10, 2012

Egger back at Sun Valley City Hall

Position slightly different from one she left 5 years ago

Virginia Egger, Sun Valley’s newly appointed interim executive assistant to the mayor, discusses her role Thursday at City Hall. Photo by David N. Seelig

Former Sun Valley employee Virginia Egger is back at City Hall, taking on some duties she held as city administrator several years ago.

Mayor Dewayne Briscoe and Egger signed a contract Wednesday to bring her on as interim executive assistant to the mayor for the next six months, at a sum of $60,000.

"It's essentially a new position I've created," Briscoe said.

Briscoe, who as mayor has authority over hiring decisions, began a search for someone to take over duties performed by former City Administrator Sharon Hammer. The city terminated her contract Jan. 19.

At the same time, Egger was beginning a job search.

"It was obvious to me there was a superstar among the stars," Briscoe said. "I can't think of anyone better to help me. She obviously can step right into this position."

The position is an executive one, reporting directly to the mayor.

In her role, Egger will supervise all city departments and personnel, prepare budgets in cooperation with the mayor, identify need for new ordinances and represent the mayor at some public functions.

"She will be the point person in the city," Briscoe said.

The position is temporary because a candidate search for that level of position can be lengthy.

"The last search was over six months," he said. "We can't wait six months."

Egger said she'll wait and see before deciding whether to apply for the permanent executive assistant job.

"If it's right for the city and right for me," she said. "I'm very open to what's best for the city."

During her time as city administrator, Egger spent nearly a year and a half working with a 17-member committee and Sun Valley Co. to rewrite the city's comprehensive plan.

Briscoe said the city will launch an update of the plan soon, so her experience will be valuable.

Egger also worked on the capital improvement plan, affordable housing ordinances and transportation.

She resigned in June 2007 to support her then-teenage daughter, who had been named to the U.S. Ski Team.

Upon leaving the valley, she moved to New Hampshire and later to New York, doing consulting work. Recently, she helped develop a recycling technology for treating waste products and was on the Telluride Mountain School's head-of-school search and finance committees. She also wrote and produced a short documentary about a Telluride mountain climber.

She said she's happy to be back in the area and working with Sun Valley city staff.

"I know that there's a different situation here," she said. "I wouldn't have agreed to come back if [the city] didn't have a bright, dedicated and capable staff. It's an honor to come back and work with this team."

Rebecca Meany:

Fire departments to meet next week

Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe said the Fire Department is functioning as usual, despite Chief Jeff Carnes still being on paid, administrative leave. Veterans of the department are stepping in to different roles in the interim: Assistant Fire Chief Ray Franco is serving as acting fire chief, and Mal Prior is serving as assistant acting chief. "We still have the same core group of people that take calls," Franco said. Briscoe said representatives from Sun Valley and Ketchum and their fire departments are meeting next week to review how cooperative agreements are carried out. Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall did not return a call by press time Thursday seeking comment on the nature of the talks. Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle was not immediately available.

Decisions about reports still pending

Mayor Dewayne Briscoe said the city is waiting for findings from the Blaine County Prosecutor's Office and the Idaho Attorney General's Office regarding two matters: A special investigative report generated after an internal investigation at City Hall late last year and an annual audit of the city's finances. "Once a determination is made ... it will give me some guidance what to do," he said. "We are pressing them to give us some decision or guidance as soon as possible."

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