The Town of Purcellville may be searching for a new town manager in the near future.
Town Manager David Mekarski is one of four finalists for a position as town manager in Vail, Colorado.
Mekarski has been on the job in Purcellville for 17 months.
Mekarski told the Times-Mirror he is not “actively looking” for other employment outside of the Vail opportunity, which he said was brought to him through a recruiter.
“The Vail position perfectly complements my 35 years of experience, knowledge and skills in environmental management, economic development, community relations, strategic planning and implementation,” he said, adding that he “loves Purcellville.”
“I am blessed to have a great staff and hardworking team, who are all very talented and committed. I enjoy working with the town council and am very proud of rebuilding the police department,” he said.
He said he has worked hard to restore the culture of the organization.
“There was an emotional impact from the culture of 2017 and 2018, and I made an effort to meet with every employee to make sure everyone is aboard and aligned as a great team," Mekarski said, noting it is “premature to say I'm leaving.”
Mekarski came on board in Purcellville during a trying time for the town. Several high-level employees were on paid leave, and independent investigations cost the town at least $800,000 of taxpayer dollars, which stemmed from town management and council's decision to fire the police chief in the fall of 2017.
The chief, Cynthia McAlister, has since been rehired, and in July she filed a $16 million lawsuit against the town, former town manager Alex Vanegas and several key players involved in an alleged scheme to oust her from her post in 2017.
When asked about the lawsuit, Mekarski said he is “100 percent confident we are going to solve this issue and will negotiate and reach a settlement agreement [that] will not impact the town's budget.”
“We are working hard to reach an equitable solution for all parties concerned, and it is not impacting the ability to move the police department to a higher level of service delivery ... This is a little bump in the road,” he said.
Mekarski got off to a rocky start in Purcellville when he requested an additional $3,500 in relocation funds from the town beyond what was initially agreed upon. He withdrew the request after widespread media attention.
Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser told the Times-Mirror council has an "excellent working relationship with David Mekarski and [has] accomplished much with him in a short time."
"We fully recognize that at times the skills and experience acquired while working for the Town of Purcellville may prepare someone and their family for another excellent opportunity in our town or another community. The town encourages career pathing, and is not in the business of holding anyone back from their career aspirations, but will try best to retain our talented employees in this competitive job market," he said.