Polson Searching for New City Manager

By Beacon Staff

The city of Polson is looking for a new city manager to replace Todd Crossett, who will be leaving in June. The search comes as lawyers are sorting out a lawsuit Crossett filed against the city in March, alleging Polson owed him nearly $50,000 in lost wages and severance pay.
Mayor Pat DeVries said the matter was settled out of court, but attorneys for the city and Crossett could not be reached or would not comment on the matter.

Crossett arrived in Polson in June 2009, after the position had been empty for more than a year. During the summer of 2008, the city’s first-ever manager, Jay Henry, resigned. Before taking the job in Polson, Crossett was a businessman and county commissioner in Bonner County, Idaho. He has a master’s degree in international management and development.

In December, the Polson City Commission decided not to renew Crossett’s contract this year. The decision came during a commission meeting on Dec. 3, where, according to meeting minutes, many members of the public and city employees came out in support of Crossett and his time in office. DeVries acknowledges there was support for Crossett, but says she had grown frustrated with his management style. She specifically said that Crossett’s work on the city budget was not done in a timely manner.

“That made it harder,” she said. “It was a difficult decision on the part of the council, but there were four of us who just didn’t think it was working.”

Crossett declined to comment for this story.

On March 11, Crossett filed a lawsuit in Lake County District Court alleging that Polson owed him nearly $50,000 worth of lost wages and severance pay. The complaint states that Polson failed to pay Crossett’s retirement benefits after April 2011, which amounted to 7.07 percent of Crossett’s gross monthly wages. It also alleges that the city breached its contract with the city manager when it failed to pay the benefits.

Meanwhile, the city is searching for a new city manager. DeVries said a five-person search committee was organized in April to find and hire a new manager. Until then, the commission will likely appoint a temporary manager and DeVries said they are looking for candidates.

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