Former Erie Officials Find Jobs Under Town’s Ousted Admin, A.J. Krieger, in Firestone
Two former Erie staff members have found new jobs under Arthur “A.J.” Krieger, the recently ousted Erie town administrator-turned Firestone interim town manager, only weeks after Erie leaders called for an investigation into a spate of high-profile resignations .
Todd Bjerkaas and Katie Hansen — Erie’s former planning and development director and spokeswoman, respectively — will serve Firestone in positions essentially mirroring their previous roles, Assistant Town Manager Jennifer Weinberger confirmed Monday.
It’s unclear who directly hired the two, though Firestone’s Board of Trustees last week approved a resolution allowing Krieger, in his interim role, to hire new employees without board approval, a power typically reserved for someone serving in his position in a more permanent capacity, officials said.
Weinberger said the two went through human resources for “a traditional interview process.”
The reasons behind their 10-mile relocation are unclear; efforts to reach Bjerkaas, Hansen and Krieger on Monday were unsuccessful. It is, however, a question Erie leaders have sought answers to themselves.
Referring to the number of exits in such a “short amount of time” as “abnormal,” Erie Trustees Dan Woog and Scott Charles earlier this month urged the town to take a look into the resignations, which since the spring have included Environmental Planner Chad Taylor, and more recently, Community Development Director Martin Ostholthoff, among others.
The exodus at the top has since drawn the ire of the town’s electorate, with some alleging the new board’s overhauled agenda might be driving out longtime employees. Four new trustees were elected in April.
The nascent leadership fired Krieger a month into its tenure; days later, Firestone announced he was the sole finalist for its interim town manager role.
A petition titled ” Stop the Unethical Treatment of Town Employees and Poor Leadership in Erie, Colorado ” details the town’s recent staff shake-ups with a call to arms for residents to investigate the town’s leadership.
“Reasons for this attrition of talent must be understood and addressed before the loss of the staff knowledge base becomes more critical and beyond repair,” Erie resident Ray Schlott told trustees at a meeting earlier this month.
Prior to her departure, Hansen declined to discuss the exits or confirm the names of those said to have resigned, citing the town’s policy to “not comment on any personnel matters.” Inquires have been directed to a main administration phone line in her absence.
The hiring of Bjerkaas and Hansen was announced in an email sent Monday to all Firestone staff. That email also announced Randall Sandoval and Scott would be joining the town ranks as parks and open space technicians.
Anthony Hahn: 303-473-1422, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/_anthonyhahn