Coates, who held the position of town planner, was promoted to interim town manager when former Town Manager Greg Clifton accepted the same position in Telluride last June.
“In her time as interim manager, Jen has proven to be an excellent fit for Ridgway,” Willits said. “Her promotion is, in part, a tribute to the group of high quality employees working for the tow who stepped up as a team to fill the gap left by Greg Clifton’s departure this past June. All of us in Ridgway are fortunate to have this dedicated staff working on all our behalf.”
Willits went on to say in an interview this week that when the process to select the next town manager began, nobody on council knew that Coates was interested in the position. To give Ridgway’s budget “some breathing room,” council decided to wait a few months before getting into the town manager selection process. That process brought Coates and 27 other applicants to the town seeking the vacant position. While that process was ongoing, council was able to see firsthand how Coates handled the job.
“Right off, she handled herself really well,” Willits said. “She has a real sense of teamwork and professionalism, and the more council saw of Jen, the more comfortable we felt with the idea of appointing her.”
Willits said council is not intending on filling the town planner position any time soon. With construction still sluggish in Ridgway, Coates will be able to handle the town’s planning work in her position as town manager.
“Obviously, to be able to combine the town manager with the town planer is a great budget move for the town,” Willits said.