CB Council picks Todd Crossett for top town job
Written by Mark Reaman   
Wednesday, 01 May 2013
Coming from Montana May 20

In a split vote, the Crested Butte Town Council voted Monday to hire Polson, Montana city manager Todd Crossett as the new Crested Butte town manager. The council voted 6-1 for the hire, with councilperson Shaun Matusewicz voting against the motion.
Town attorney John Belkin will draft a formal contract that is expected to be signed by Crossett this week and formally ratified by the council at the meeting on Monday, May 6. Crossett will start the new job May 20.


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At the special meeting on Monday, April 29, Mayor Aaron Huckstep confirmed that the council had been negotiating with Crossett for the last two weeks. “It was a good experience for the town council and for him as well,” he said. “It helped us identify concerns we had with the previous town manager and be very clear where we are and how we want to move forward.”
Councilperson Glenn Michel made the motion to hire Crossett subject to a signed agreement. Councilperson Shaun Matusewicz made it clear he was not happy with the choice and didn’t feel the council was listening to the overall wishes of the community to hire a qualified local.
“I think it is hard enough to make a living here and we had two great local candidates capable of doing the job,” Matusewicz commented after the meeting. “Now, I’ll certainly support Todd and the council’s decision. It’s important to rally around him and give him every chance for success.”
Councilperson Jim Schmidt voted in favor of Crossett’s appointment but stated before his vote, “I preferred a local candidate but to show Mr. Crossett support and help keep it on a track to work out, I’ll vote aye.”
Local job candidates Jake Jones and Scott Truex attended the meeting to see where the council was going in the process.
“We want to thank you both for participating in the process,” Huckstep told them. “You both were great candidates and we hope we can count on both of you, given your positions in the community, to help Todd.”
Both agreed that would be the case and thanked the council for the opportunity to take part in the process.
“This was the toughest decision we have probably made as a council,” said Councilperson John Wirsing.
In an interview following the announcement, Huckstep explained that the finalists were all good candidates for the town manager job but Crossett had some skills that made him rise above the
“He has had some experience in the position of being a town manager, for one,” said Huckstep. “So one upside is that he can come into the position of municipal government management and know how the town runs. Second, he has quite a bit of experience of working with diverse partners. He demonstrated a history of bringing diverse parties together to work effectively.
“That particular skill set is important to the council in the sense that we work with a number of entities from Mt. Crested Butte, to the ski area, to the county and city of Gunnison. His skill set seemed to fit to continue to build those relationships,” Huckstep continued. “The council is fully aware of the concerns with bringing someone to Crested Butte from the outside.”
Crossett is not leaving his current job without some tension. His council voted 4-3 last December to not renew his contract and he recently filed a lawsuit against the town in a dispute over retirement funding.
“I think we had a very direct, open conversation about that issue up-front,” said Huckstep. “We looked into the matter pretty thoroughly. We did our research and feel comfortable. It was definitely discussed with him.”
Huckstep did say he was pleased with the overall selection process but admitted the council could have been a bit more prepared after a candidate selection was made. He said a basic contract could have been already drawn up and the council could have had some details agreed upon between themselves. That, along with some contract negotiations between the two sides, made for a longer than anticipated final decision.
Crossett’s negotiated contract includes a $90,000 annual salary, use of the town’s house, three weeks of vacation and standard Crested Butte retirement and health benefits.
“I am honored to be selected for this job,” commented Crossett. “The other candidates I met were very impressive and I feel fortunate. I am excited to come to Crested Butte and get started in this position. Everyone in the family is excited as well.”
Crossett will be moving a family that includes his wife, a middle school-aged son, a high school-aged daughter and a dog to town after the kids complete the school year in Montana.