Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Suthers names Jeff Greene as top aide

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 2:33 PM

click to enlarge Jeff Greene says a few words after Mayor-elect John Suthers, right, introduced him this afternoon as his chief of staff. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Jeff Greene says a few words after Mayor-elect John Suthers, right, introduced him this afternoon as his chief of staff.

Mayor-elect John Suthers
today named El Paso County Administrator Jeff Greene as his chief of staff at a salary similar to that of the current chief of staff, Steve Cox, who is paid $186,945. Greene's salary as county administrator is $146,393.

Cox collected $190,545 from the city when he retired as chief of staff/economic vitality chief in mid-2012, including about $90,000 in severance pay, only to return 19 months later as Bach's chief of staff. (The balance was for vacation and sick time.) Suthers says Greene will be paid a comparable salary.

Suthers, elected by a 2-to-1 margin in Tuesday's mayoral runoff, takes office on June 2, but Greene might not transition into his new job at that same time, depending on his ability to put county business in order, Suthers said.

Greene has been in county administration for 15 years and served as administrator for nine years. Suthers says he chose Greene because of his background in government, organizations, budgeting, planning, roads and bridges and law enforcement.

An Army veteran, Greene also served in the Reserves and graduated from the University of Tennessee. He was named Public Official of the Year in 2011 by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce (now the Regional Business Alliance).

Suthers said he also wanted a leader who would bring "a fresh set of eyes" to city government.

Greene, for his part, said that there's no one better than Suthers to serve as mayor of Colorado Springs, an odd comment since one of his bosses, El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen, ran against Suthers in the general election but didn't make the runoff election. Asked about that comment later, Greene noted he didn't endorse anyone for mayor and that the "citizens have spoken" by electing Suthers. Lathen, asked about Greene's comment, said she's "excited" for Greene and Suthers. "This is the first time in years that we've had an opportunity to work with the city," she said. "I'm hopeful this will put an end to the turf wars."

As for other mayoral appointees, Suthers says he'll take 90 to 120 days to assess various departments before making any decisions.

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, on hand for the announcement, said he'd just learned of the appointment this morning.

Likely interim administrators to replace Greene are community services manager Tim Wolken, emergency services chief Jim Reid and budget director Nicola Sapp. Neither Lathen nor Glenn would speculate. Commissioners will meet in closed session on Tuesday to kick off efforts to replace Greene.

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