Columbia Falls Hires New City Manager

By Beacon Staff

The Columbia Falls City Council voted in a new city manager last week, choosing to hire the city’s director of finance and administration, Susan Nicosia.

Nicosia received the city council’s vote at its June 6 meeting to take over the manager position. She had been acting as the city’s interim manager since May 27.

“It certainly was the next logical step for me in my career, particularly at the city,” Nicosia said.

Her career working with and in city government has spanned 27 years, Nicosia said, including work as a local government auditor for the state and in a private firm; a position as a school district finance director, and owning her own firm consulting for local governments.

Nicosia’s work with Columbia Falls’ government started during her tenure on the city council from 1998 to 2003. She became the mayor in 2003 and held that position until 2006. That same year, Nicosia became the city’s finance director.

“It’s been 27 years in one capacity or another,” Nicosia said. “I’ve sat on every side of the table.”

Nicosia also has a master’s degree in public administration.

Nicosia’s appointment caused some concern among several Columbia Falls constituents who expressed at a May 23 meeting that they would have liked to see the vacant manager’s position advertised publicly.

However, the council decided to advertise the position in-house first, Nicosia said.

The council accepted former manager Bill Shaw’s resignation at its May 16 meeting. Nicosia said she expressed interest in the open position and applied to the in-house posting.

The council decided to pursue and interview their sole in-house applicant and voted to appoint Nicosia to the position during their June 6 meeting. If the council members had decided not to hire her, they would have hired from the outside, Nicosia said.

“That’s pretty common,” Nicosia said. “It’s just in the history of Columbia Falls, there’s never been an in-house applicant.”

As the new city manager, Nicosia said her main goal is to maintain fiscal stability while keeping city operations running smoothly.

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