~ By Bob Volpe ~
The long wait for a new city manager for Woodland Park is over.
Darrin Tangeman, who worked previously in the Pueblo West area, will become the next WP boss, beginning no later than September 17.
Tangeman’s qualifications include: chief administrator officer for Pueblo West Metropolitan District; a masters of public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver; and extensive service with the U.S. Army.
A background check for information on Tangeman turned up very little, except for a few fairly positive articles written about him. In an article in the Pueblo West View, the publication stated, “In Colorado, Darrin Tangeman, a U.S. Army veteran and chief administrative officer for the Pueblo West Metropolitan District, is the co-founder of the Veterans Local Government Fellowship, which aims to transition those with military experience into public service positions in local government.
The article noted, “It’s a program that Tangeman has built largely on his own. But it’s something that is laying the foundation for something bigger. The International City/ County Management Association has taken an interest in the program and is looking to replicate it in other states.”
Tangeman also reportedly sought to have more community involvement during his stint with the Pueblo West Metro District. A Pueblo news magazine called The Pulp wrote another article about Tangeman’s response to resident concerns about weeds overtaking areas of Pueblo West. They wrote, “Tangeman wants to start with connecting better with the residents.” “They (the residents) aren’t engaged in the community as I would like them to be,” Tangeman said. “I think they could be advocates for community improvements and improving the quality of life here.”
Tangeman replaces David Buttery, who served the city for more than 20 years including as city manager for 10-plus years. At the December 21 city council meeting, Buttery announced his retirement and left city service on April 13.
The search for a new city manager began in January of 2018. Tangeman was one of three finalists for the job. The city received134 applications for the position. There were no applications from inside the Woodland Park city government. The city boss finalists included two candidates from Colorado and one from Kansas.
The city announced Tangeman won the race for city manager on July 17 and outlined his contract details, including a salary that may raise a few eyebrows, considering this is his debut assignment with Woodland Park. According to the contract, the annual salary of the city manager shall be the gross sum of $125,000. This represents a nearly 50 percent hike from the compensation level for the city manager position since the late 1990s, but is on a similar level to Buttery’s salary.
Along with the salary, Tangeman will receive a generous benefit package. His health benefits are outlined in the contract as; “the city manager shall be entitled to the same group dental, vision, life, and other insurance available to other city employees, except that the city manager, for himself and his family, voluntarily, and in his sole discretion, elects to opt out of participating in the city’s group medical insurance plan.’ He also has been granted a fairly lucrative vacation, sick and retirement plan similar to those of other top city bosses.
Tangeman will also be provided with a laptop computer, mobile phone, and tablet (iPad), to use for official business. He will also receive a monthly cash stipend of $1,036.69 to be used for professional development (workshops, etc.), a relocation allotment not to exceed $9,000, a vehicle allowance in the amount of $6,540 per year, payable in twenty-six (26) payments of $251.54.
The city manager shall be responsible for paying for liability, property damage, and comprehensive insurance coverage upon such vehicle and shall further be responsible for all expenses attendant to the purchase, operation and maintenance, and repair of said vehicle.