Raymond C. Lee III named sole finalist for Greeley City Manager – Greeley Tribune

Greeley is set to see his first black city manager as Greeley City Council announces it has unanimously selected Raymond C. Lee III as the sole finalist for the job.

While the usual paperwork and contract negotiations have yet to take place, city officials say anything is unlikely to derail the deal.

“I want to see this city succeed,” Lee told the NoCo Optimist at a city managers semi-finalists meeting on Nov. 17. “I am a person who believes in working together and coming together to improve our future.”

In an interview with The Optimist, Mayor John Gates said the choice wasn’t necessarily easy, as all three semi-finalists were good. What stands out from Lee is his overall knowledge of city operations and his vision for Greeley’s future, Gates said.

“Nothing about Raymond says the status quo – he wants the city to keep moving,” Gates said. “Now is not the right time for the status quo.”

Greeley City Council on Tuesday named Raymond C. Lee III the sole finalist for city manager. (Courtesy photo / City of Greeley)

Lee’s qualifications

Lee has worked as Greeley’s interim city manager since August, following the departure of longtime city manager Roy Otto. Lee first joined the city in January as a deputy city manager.

“What we noticed almost immediately was that as interim city manager he wasn’t in place,” Gates said. “He continued to pursue what he needed to pursue to fill vacancies and move the city forward. He was really impressive in that regard.

Prior to moving to Greeley, Lee held various positions in municipal government including Director of Public Works for the City of Amarillo, Texas, Assistant Director for Street Services for the City of Dallas and more.

Lee received his bachelor’s degree in public administration from Henderson State University and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.

He is also known for donning very eye-catching bow ties at city council meetings.

Who did he beat?

In the first step of the search process for a new city manager, Baker Tilly firm found a pool of 33 candidates for city council to consider. Council members narrowed down the search to 10 semi-finalists before choosing three finalists, who attended a welcome public meeting last week.

Alexa Barton, of Belton, Missouri, and Scot Rigby, of Wichita, Kansas, were also named semi-finalists.

Barton previously served as City Manager, Deputy City Manager, County Administrator and more. She received her bachelor’s degree in public administration from Park University and her master’s degree in public affairs from the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs at Park University.

Rigby previously served as Deputy City Manager, Senior Project Manager, Acting Assistant to City Manager and more. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in public administration from Arizona State University.

Biggest Challenge Greeley faces

Gates said one of the biggest challenges Greeley faces is growing. That is why the council agreed it should seek out a city manager who could rule over 200,000 people, he said.

“We know we’re growing up, and frankly, we can’t mess it all up,” Gates said.

Lee knows that too.

In an interview with The Optimist, he said one of his top priorities as city manager would be to balance sustainable growth in Greeley without losing the character of the city.

“Within that, you have housing, infrastructure, retail, restaurants and more in an ever-changing economy,” Lee said.

Gates said he was impressed with the conversations he had with Lee about Greeley’s growth.

“Raymond clearly sees our vision to have industrial growth, business growth and growth that benefits all residents,” said Gates.

– Kelly Ragan is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NoCo Optimist. You can usually find it covering the government of Greeley and County Weld. Do you have any advice? Let him know at TheNoCoOptimist@gmail.com. Do you like this report? Let the Greeley Tribune know to keep it around. Find more NoCo Optimist content on www.thenocooptimist.com.

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