The city of Ketchum announced this week that former Ketchum City Administrator Jim Jaquet will fill in while the city searches to fill the shoes of outgoing City Administrator Ron LeBlanc.
LeBlanc was hired to replace Jaquet, who retired in June 2002 following a 25-year career with the city. LeBlanc's last day on the job will be Dec. 20, and he will assume his new job as city manager of Durango, Colo., in January.
Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall was excited to have obtained Jaquet's experience during the transition.
"I am delighted to announce that Jim Jaquet has agreed to step in and help out during this interim period," Hall said. "Jim's extensive experience should prove invaluable during this transition period."
Jaquet's tenure will run through May 1 at the latest, which will give the city a firm deadline by which to hire a new full-time city administrator. Jaquet will be paid $50 per hour at an estimated 20 hours per week during the transition.
"Hopefully by then the mayor and council will have chosen a permanent administrator," Jaquet said. "I really enjoy retirement, so I really wasn't looking to do this. But I know the city has a lot of things going on, and if I can help out during the interim to keep things going I'm glad to do it."
Jaquet, 65, said he will be there to assist the mayor and will look to Hall to set priorities.
"The one thing that the mayor indicated he's concerned about is to try to make sure the Fourth Street extension project is started on time and is completed on time," Jaquet said. "So I think that will take up a good deal of my time."
He also said he is pleased that former Planning Director Lisa Horowitz is returning to the city as its new community and economic development director.
"She has the background and the skill set to deal with the issues of not only planning but the hotel issue because she's been heavily involved with that," Jaquet said.
Hall said Jaquet's help will allow the city to focus on the important job of finding another top-notch administrator.
"We plan on conducting a thorough search to bring in a qualified administrator who can round out our senior management team," Hall said.
LeBlanc said the city has received nine proposals from search firms bidding for a contract to conduct the search for a new city administrator.
Hall indicated the city would likely select one of the firms at its Monday, Dec. 17, meeting.
"By hiring Jim it will allow us not to miss a beat," Hall said. "I asked him to step up and help us out, and I think we all are grateful for that fact. There is nobody on this planet capable of helping us out more than Jim Jaquet."