In the absence of a city administrator, Cripple Creek City Council voted on March 4 to tap Finance Director Paul Harris to once again step in and take on administrative duties while the city seeks a candidate to replace former administrator Mark Campbell.
Campbell’s 14-month tenure ended with a request for his resignation and without decorum, surprising many in the community, and was finalized at the Feb. 19 council meeting. Campbell’s severance package includes six month’s salary.
The city has embarked on a nationwide search for a new administrator.
According to the job description posted on cityofcripplecreek.com, “The City Administrator is the chief executive officer for the City of Cripple Creek. Appointed by the city council, the city administrator is responsible for coordinating departments within the city and other external organizations. The administrator is also responsible for the city’s annual budget and implements the policies adopted by the city council. The administration also is involved in implementing the city’s marketing plan.”
Another staff change became official when council members voted emphatically “Yes” for the appointment of Charles “Bud” Bright to serve as the succeeding chief of police, replacing Mike Rulo who retires April 3.
Bright is described as “homegrown and hometown,” having come up from the ranks and having served in law enforcement for more than 27 years. Judging by the show of solidarity in support of his appointment by numerous police department personnel at the meeting, Bright is well-respected by the men and women who serve with CCPD. Rather than conduct a search for candidates to fill Rulo’s shoes, the council decided to choose from the ranks of their current police force. Bright started his career at the Teller County Jail in the early 1990s when it was located in Cripple Creek prior to construction of current jail housing and Sheriff’s offices in Divide.
City Clerk Janelle Sciacca requested council consider approval to authorize a professional services agreement with Municipal Code Corporation “Municode” for the purposes of recodification of the Cripple Creek Municipal Code. This would allow for the evaluation of the city’s current code on the books and ensure that it does not conflict with current Colorado law. Sciacca said that the process would take approximately one year and $12,000 was already budgeted for this purpose. The final cost would be $13,450. Council approved the resolution.
Acting in the capacity as Finance Director, Harris requested that council authorize a professional services agreement with Phoenix Technology Group for managed information technology services. The discussion revealed that last fall, the city underwent a ransomware/malware incident which they are still addressing. Prior to Phoenix coming on board April 1, Harris said the issues must be “cleaned up” by the current contractors. Harris said the new contractor was chosen based on the cost and experience in working with municipalities and their knowledge of law enforcement aspects when dealing with cybersecurity issues.
During public comment, Teller County Assessor Colt Simmons gave a short presentation regarding Cripple Creek’s contribution to the county’s tax base with regard to assessments, levies and revenue. Based on 2.31 mills, Cripple Creek’s assessed valuation is listed in the amount of $61,914,080. The revenue to the county amounts to $131,877. The Cripple Creek/Victor RE-1 school levy is 13.587 mills with an assessed valuation of $408,843,570 and revenue of $5,554,957.