City offers executive from Beaver Creek Resort manager job
July 2, 2010
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Tony O’Rourke is ready for a challenge.
He’s read the El Dorado County grand jury report that blasts the South Lake Tahoe City Council for operating on a “barely functional level.” He’s seen the site of the long-delayed Chateau project. He knows about both redevelopment areas.
And still O’Rourke is ready to come to South Lake Tahoe to become the next city manager.
“I like that there are professional challenges,” he said. “If it was easy, anyone could do it.”
The city council voted 4-0, with Councilman Bill Crawford absent, to select O’Rourke for the position at a closed session meeting Thursday night.
O’Rourke is currently the executive director of Beaver Creek Resort Company in Colorado. Before working at Beaver Creek for 14 years, O’Rourke spent nearly 20 years with cities in California, Texas and Florida as city manager, assistant city manager, assistant to the city manager and community development director. Beaver Creek is a private non-profit corporation responsible for the governance and management of the alpine resort owned by Vail Resorts Management Company.
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He was one of 92 applicants for the position, but his passion made him stand out said Mayor Kathay Lovell.
“He has a level of enthusiasm and passion that really grabs your attention,” she said. “You certainly feel his commitment and his expertise and his background speak strongly to his capabilities.”
The details of O’Rourke’s contract still need to be worked out and are expected to be brought to the City Council at its next regularly schedule public meeting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 13, according to a release sent out by city attorney Patrick Enright.
However O’Rourke already plans to search for a home in South Lake Tahoe for himself, his wife Suzy, son Jimmy and golden retriever Murphy.
“Murphy is very excited to check out these new trails and smell the Ponderosa Pine,” he said.
Tahoe’s lifestyle attracted O’Rourke to the city manager position.
“I think one can’t do this job unless you love the community and embrace what it represents,” he said.
O’Rourke said he is taking the job with eyes wide open and is aware of the issues facing South Lake Tahoe.
“While there are some serious issues, I am not deterred from being committed to working in partnership to address those and other substantive issues,” he said. “I am not afraid of dealing with complex issues.”
He said his leadership will focus on communication, collaboration and goal setting.
“I want to listen to the community and the council and staff and find the common issues and find a process to resolve the issues,” he said.