The city of Aspen has hired executive search firm Peckham & McKenney to help find the organization’s next city manager.

The firm was selected from a group of seven that responded to the city’s request for proposals, according to a press release. Peckham & McKenny has placed nearly 200 city manager and similar positions, and has a proven track record in serving resort and mountain communities, according to the release. In the last several years, Peckham & McKenney has recruited Colorado town managers for Basalt, Telluride, Winter Park and Windsor.

“Peckham & McKenney’s representative in Colorado had a great understanding of Aspen and our particular needs when it comes to hiring a new city manager,” Mayor Steve Skadron said in the release. “The firm also has a solid track record of delivering outstanding results to other local governments in mountain resort communities looking for similar positions.”

The contract with Peckham & McKenney is for $25,000 with the option for more expansive community engagement initiatives above the initial agreement for an additional cost.

The search for a new Aspen city manager comes after Steve Barwick resigned at the city council’s request on Jan. 7. His resignation followed a series of high-profile controversies connected to the city administration, including a “mobility lab” experiment planned for this summer that fizzled out and a dispute with the housing authority over its role in a city-subsidized housing project.

Barwick served in the job since 1999 and was with the city since 1993. Currently, former assistant city manager Sara Ott is acting as the interim city manager.

The primary Peckham & McKenney recruiter for this search is Drew Gorgey, who served in Colorado government positions for nearly 20 years, including as county manager and attorney for Garfield County before working for Peckham & McKenney.  He is located in Glenwood Springs.

“It’s important as we move forward that we continue to execute a transparent process for the community and city staff,” interim assistant city manager Alissa Farrell said in the release.  “We believe that Peckham & McKenney, along with our internal team, which will include members of the incoming council, will offer the community opportunities for meaningful input during the hiring process.”

An overview of the recruitment and selection process will be presented to city council on Tuesday, April 23 at 4 p.m. during a work session. The session is open to the public and the meeting will also be broadcast on CGTV Channel 11, Facebook, and archived on the city’s website.  For updates on the city manager recruitment, visit