Who's going to manage these Lakewood girls?

Would you like to be the new city manager of Lakewood? Well, you can't -- because six finalists for the position, which opens up in September, when current CM Mike Rock plans to retire, have already been chosen. They are: Larry Dorr, Mike Hein, Kathleen Elia Hodgson, Jay Hutchison, Gary Klaphake and Elizabeth Link. Give them the once-over by perusing the official Lakewood release on view after the jump:

Lakewood announces city manager finalists

May 28, 2009 - Six finalists for Lakewood city manager have been chosen for the final selection process in June that includes interviews with an employee committee, the City's management team and the City Council.

The City Council will decide who the City's next city manager will be. Current City Manager Mike Rock has announced he will retire in September.

The finalists were selected after Lakewood conducted a nationwide search for a new city manager. A selection committee consisting of Mayor Bob Murphy, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Quinn, Council President Karen Kellen and former City Council member Mike Stevens chose the finalists.

The City's application process included several distinctive approaches including requiring applicants to submit, along with a resume, a one-page summary of their use of creativity or innovation to solve a professional problem or implement change. Those summaries are condensed with each candidate's background below. A citizen focus group identified key issues in the community that served as a basis for interview questions and also helped to outline the attributes most highly valued in a city manager.

The finalists are listed in alphabetical order:

Larry Dorr has served as Lakewood's finance director and city treasurer for the past five years. Prior to that, he served as the City's financial analyst for three years. He has a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in economics. He highlighted as one major accomplishment his guidance to the Mayor and City Council that led to a voter-approved ballot question allowing Lakewood to retain income for parks and open space above state revenue limits.

"I'm proud of the Lakewood community and its City operations. As city manager, I want to see the community continue to build on its heritage and adapt for the future. In its 40 year history, Lakewood has withstood difficult economic times. Together, we will do it again," Dorr said.

Mike Hein served as the city manager for Tucson, Ariz., for four years. He also has 14 years of experience working in management positions for cities throughout Arizona including as town manager, planning and zoning director and finance director. He has a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree in public administration and policy analysis. He highlighted as one major accomplishment the Financial Sustainability vision, which is a 10-year plan to rebuild Tucson's social and physical infrastructure.

"I have been incredibly impressed by the commitment of the staff and the Mayor and Council to improve the long-term quality of life of Lakewood. At every step, I've been greeted by very professional and very enthusiastic individuals committed to the community. I look forward to continuing the dialogue with the City of Lakewood," Hein said.

Kathleen Elia Hodgson has served as the director of Lakewood's Community Resources Department for nine years. She has 29 years of experience with the City, rising through the ranks from lifeguard through several management positions in recreation. She has a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She highlighted as one major accomplishment her swift action on a limited opportunity to acquire property without City funds to provide parkland in an older section of the city.

"It has been a privilege spending my career in an organization known for its innovation, integrity and responsiveness to the community. Lakewood's future is dynamic and filled with great opportunity," Hodgson said.

Jay Hutchison is the director of Lakewood's Public Works Department. His varied experience during 26 years with the City has included responsibility for a wide range of functions including engineering, traffic engineering, building permits and inspections, planning, street maintenance and fleet management. He previously worked with a private company as a project engineer. He has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He highlighted as one major accomplishment his role in helping to bring several public and private organizations together to accomplish annexation of the Denver Federal Center and subsequent sale of portions of the property for Lakewood's first hospital and a light rail station.

"Lakewood is a wonderful, multifaceted city. I look forward to continuing to serve the community's residents and businesses," Hutchison said.

Gary Klaphake has served as the city administrator for Lafayette, Colo., for 11 years. His previous 23 years of experience includes serving as a city administrator in Estes Park and several communities in Minnesota and Iowa. He has a master's degree in organizational management and a bachelor's degree in urban affairs. He highlighted as one major accomplishment his spearheading of the first highway privatization effort in the state that led to paying off the original construction cost of the Northwest Parkway.

"The City of Lakewood has been very successful in maintaining quality of life services and building a vibrant economy. I would work with the Mayor, City Council, staff and the community to continue that momentum and bring new ideas, innovation, efficiency and people skills to the mix. My experience in Colorado exhibits strategic planning, stewardship of resources, success in economic development while building an inclusive community," Klaphake said.

Elizabeth Link has served as an independent consultant from Edwardsville, Ill., focusing on economic development that emphasized sustainability and neighborhood involvement for several national clients for the last five years. She began her career with an engineering firm in Lakewood, and she has 14 years of experience working for private companies including as senior vice president of predevelopment for the Mills Corp. She has a bachelor's degree in engineering. She highlighted as one major accomplishment her negotiations for the location of a Mills mall in Houston, a project that involved facilitating agreements with four governmental jurisdictions including the adjustment of city boundaries.

"I believe in strong neighborhood involvement and that municipal government has the greatest impact on the quality of life for citizens. I recognize and appreciate the strong leadership shown by Lakewood elected officials over the years. Regarding the future, the completion of FasTracks as well as the opportunities in the Rooney Valley provide Lakewood with tremendous potential for a sustainable, healthy community," Link said.

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