The Whitefish City Council has selected Charles Stearns of Georgetown, Colo., as the new city manager, Mayor Mike Jenson announced on Wednesday.
Stearns is replacing Gary Marks, who left this summer to take the city administrator job in Ketchum, Idaho. Stearns was selected after a national search initially yielded 65 applicants. The large field had recently been narrowed down to six finalists, who were in Whitefish on Monday to take questions from the mayor, city councilors, city staff and community members.
“Chuck Stearns was the right fit for Whitefish,” Jenson said in a statement. “He brings strong municipal finance skills and considerable experience in managing mountain and ski municipalities.”
Stearns has over 24 years of municipal experience, including four years as the administrator for Georgetown. He also had the top city position in Mt. Crested Butte, Colo., for nine years and worked as finance director in Missoula. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Montana.
He is a former resident of Whitefish and has long-time friends in the area. He will start work in December.
“We were all impressed with his knowledge of Whitefish issues and his familiarity with Montana municipal laws and finances,” Jenson said.
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