Castle Pines appoints interim city manager

Michael Penny spent five years at the helm in Littleton

Jessica Gibbs and Chris Rotar
Staff writers
Posted 2/25/18

The Castle Pines City Council has appointed an interim city manager. Michael Penny's contract for the position runs through June 1, after which he will be given an opportunity to seek the post on a …

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Castle Pines appoints interim city manager

Michael Penny spent five years at the helm in Littleton

Posted

The Castle Pines City Council has appointed an interim city manager.

Michael Penny's contract for the position runs through June 1, after which he will be given an opportunity to seek the post on a permanent basis. His gross monthly salary will be $9,500.

Penny, 49, brings vast experience to Castle Pines. He was the city manager in Littleton from 2011-16. Before that, he was the town manager of Frisco for seven years and the city administrator of Ouray for two years.

"I have talked to several people who have worked with Michael and describe him as innovative, action-oriented and committed," Mayor Tera Radloff said. "Castle Pines is at a critical point in our young history and I believe we need a seasoned professional to help us maintain positive momentum and address complicated issues, such as growth and infrastructure."

Castle Pines' former city manager, Don Van Wormer, resigned Jan. 12 after approximately five years on the job. He did not give a reason for leaving, a city spokeswoman said.

Penny's contract was approved Feb. 16 and his first day on the job was Feb. 20.

Castle Pines is in the midst of more than one development project that combined could double the city's population of 10,900 within the next couple decades. For example, The Canyons is a 3,343-acre master planned community that is set to bring 2,500 more homes and residential units to Castle Pines, according to the development's website.

Penny, who lives in the Trailmark area of Littleton, said the chance to be part of a growing community is exciting.

"I was very impressed with the city council and their desire to see the city grow and prosper," he said.

Penny's tenure as city manager in Littleton came to an end when he was fired by a 4-2 vote — one councilmember was absent — in June 2016. Some councilmembers said his termination was the result of a lack of transparency and communication.

The move was a controversial one by a city council that was often divided over matters of growth and development, and Penny had his share of supporters among city leaders, including current Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman.

In the days after a Feb. 21 news release announced his hiring as interim manager in Castle Pines, Penny declined to discuss his time in Littleton. Nor would he project how long Castle Pines will be his new office.

"I’m excited to be in Castle Pines," he said. "We have an opportunity to see how the fit is. The council and staff have been fantastic. We’re going to see where it goes over the next couple months."

Radloff said Penny "has the skills and experience that complement our community’s unique needs." Like Penny, she said the time from now until June will be a chance to evaluate how well he and the city fit together.

Penny has worked in the private sector since his departure from Littleton government. But he said he maintained a drive to get back to the public sector.

"I love being city manager," he said. "I’m passionate about serving the community."

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