About 40 Cortez employees and well-wishers gathered at City Hall on Friday to say goodbye to outgoing City Manager Shane Hale.
The city held a public farewell party for Hale, who is leaving for a job in Windsor, Colorado. Mayor Karen Sheek thanked him for his service and presented him with a gift on behalf of the city.
Hale’s last day of work for the city will be Tuesday, when he plans to attend the City Council meeting.
City Council members, police, public works employees and others gathered in the City Hall parking lot while Airport Manager Russ Machen and Marketing and Events Coordinator Jon Brooks grilled hamburgers. Pictures of Hale and his family were displayed on the walls near the building’s back entrance.
Durango City Manager Ron LeBlanc also came to offer his congratulations to Hale.
Sheek thanked Hale for being “a great mentor” to her and other members of City Council.
“This is a very bittersweet time,” she said. “Shane’s provided wonderful leadership for our city.”
She and Brooks presented him with a collage of photos and Journal articles about his time as city manager, as well as the more tongue-in-cheek gift of a bobblehead doll in his likeness.
Hale thanked the City Council and city staff, saying that he believed he’ll be leaving the city of Cortez in good hands.
“The last 6½ years have been great years,” he said. “I learned a lot from all of you guys.”
Chris Burkett will replace Hale as the interim city manager while the city searches for a permanent new hire.
The council hopes to have a shortlist of candidates by the middle of June.