ALAMOSA — Alamosa City Manager Nathan Cherpeski is a finalist for the vacant Klamath Falls, Oregon city manager position.
He and two other top finalists are scheduled to be interviewed and meet members of the community next Tuesday.
Cherpeski said he had alerted the Alamosa city council and department heads of his potential move.
He stressed he was not unhappy with Alamosa but was interested in the Klamath Falls opening because it would allow his family to be closer to his parents and his wife’s parents on the West Coast.
“It’s five hours from where we are from. That’s probably the big reason,” Cherpeski said on Thursday. “If it doesn’t happen I am not really looking to leave. It’s an opportunity a lot closer to our parents and getting the kids closer to the grandparents.”
Cherpeski is from northern Nevada. Klamath Falls, a city of about 20,000 in southern Oregon, would place the family within four or five hours of parents and grandparents.
Cherpeski said Klamath Falls is similar to Alamosa, with an agriculturally based economy.
The Cherpeskis have five children, with the youngest born in Alamosa.
“She’s always going to be a Valley native,” Cherpeski said.
“Alamosa is a wonderful place,” Cherpeski said. “I enjoy it.”
With children in school and sports here, if Cherpeski gets the job in Oregon, his wife and children would remain in Alamosa until the end of the school year, he said.
Cherpeski has served as Alamosa city manager since 2006. He had previously served as assistant to the city manager in Redding, Calif. He has a master’s degree in public policy from Brigham Young University.
He was nominated for Colorado City Manager Of The Year this year.
Cherpeski said he did not know the time frame for Klamath Falls’ city manager selection.
The other two finalists are Layne Long, former city manager of Draper, Utah, who, like Cherpeski, earned a master’s degree from Brigham Young University; and Ed Sadler, the current city manager of Webster City, Iowa, where he has been since 2006.
The finalists were selected from a pool of 58 applicants. Klamath Falls Chief of Police Jim Hunter has been serving as the interim city manager since the city’s previous city manager Rick Whitlock left in August.
Cherpeski said if the position in Klamath Falls does not work out, he would be glad to stay in Alamosa and continue to serve the community.
“If it doesn’t happen we will continue doing what we do.
"It was an opportunity to get closer to home.”