The city of Cortez on Thursday announced the hiring of a finance director and the hiring of an executive search firm to recruit a city manager.
The new finance director, Kelly Koskie, will begin work Monday, according to a news release from the city. Koskie grew up on her family ranch and farm in Lewis and earned an accounting degree from Fort Lewis College. Her first job out of college was as a receptionist for the city of Cortez. Koskie moved back to the area after living 15 years in the Northwest.
“We are excited that Kelly is on board to take over as finance director for the city of Cortez and help continue to work on the challenges we have in front of us,” City Manager John Dougherty said. “We feel that Kelly will be a great addition to our team, and we look forward to the contributions she will make in helping us reach our goals as a city.”
She will replace Katheryn Moss, who pleaded guilty in September to embezzling $63,642 from the city.
Peckham & McKenney Inc. will help Cortez find a city manager to replace John Dougherty, who announced last month that he would resign to spend more time with family, effective April 30.
According to its website, Peckham & McKenney is headquartered in Roseville, California, with regional offices in Southern California, Colorado and Texas.
The firm has conducted more than 200 city manager and other executive position searches for communities including Telluride, San Miguel County, Durango, Timnath, Wellington and Windsor.
The company’s vice president, Drew Gorgey, will lead the city manager search. Gorgey has served in Colorado local government for 20 years, including stints as county manager and county attorney for Garfield County in Glenwood Springs. He also served as interim city manager for Glenwood Springs.
The new hires come as the city looks to sort out its financial problems of the past couple of years. The city has contended with the coronavirus pandemic, an embezzlement investigation and years of backed-up financial audits, which held up state grants.
Only last month was City Council able to finish its 2016 financial audit. Years of audits still remain to be completed. Because of the backup, the city has been unable to apply for state grants or receive its property taxes for about a year and a half.