Mike Fedel was sworn in on Jan. 11 as Ouray County’s newest commissioner and took his place between veterans Heidi Albritton and Lynn Padgett. “Now,” Albritton addressed Fedel, who occupied the seat formerly held by Keith Meinert, “you are the rose between two thorns.”
Also sworn in were the following elected or re-elected, county officials: County Assessor Susie Mayfield, Treasurer Jeanine Casolari, Clerk and Recorder Michelle Nauer, Coroner Colleen Hollenbeck, and Surveyor Bob Larson. Following the ceremony, retiring coroner Gary Miller was called up and thanked for his 22 years of service.
Martelon Onboard at TMI
Telluride Tourism Board/Marketing Telluride Inc. President and CEO Michael Martelon came onboard in April. “In my mind, it’s not about changing the marketing or the brand,” Martelon said upon accepted the post, “it’s about leveraging the marketing and the brand more fully than it has been in the past.” Martelon comes to the job with more than 25 years in travel in tourism, running marketing operations at large companies in Boston and Denver. His client list spans the spectrum, from the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and Caesar’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino to the Massachusetts Port Authority. “We’re seeing signs of [the economy] turning the corner, and we want to be prepared to capitalize on that,” said Martelon, who moved to Telluride with his wife, Jenna, and their two children.
,b>Shine Is DDA’s New Director
The Montrose City Council hired Scott Shine, its senior city planner, as the new director for the Downtown Development Authority, in July. The overall goals of the DDA include making capital improvements, including infrastructure development, as well as business support, business recruitment and marketing both for the DDA and its member businesses. Shine said he is very excited to see the DDA gain momentum, and that the community “clearly supports” efforts to revitalize downtown. “It’s something I’m interested in personally and professionally, a good fit, so I decided to apply,” he said. “I felt I had the education and experience to really help the organization get going and really make a difference.” Shine, 28, received his undergraduate degree in environmental studies and sustainable development from Utah State University and then got his masters’ in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon. While working on his graduate degree, Shine also worked for the Lane Council of Governments in Lane County, Ore., for two-and-a-half years, doing regional planning and writing grants for economic development. Shine has been with the city for four years and was recently promoted from city planner to senior planner.
Montgomery Says ‘Yes’ to M.V. Town Manager Position
Kim Montgomery, on the job at Mountain Village Town Hall since 2004 in capacities ranging from town clerk to assistant town manager, stepped up to the role of town manager in July. She took over from previous Town Manager Greg Sparks, who had held the post for four years. “I wanted to know what we were going to get for this town,” Montgomery said of her decision to take the position. “Kim knows the inner workings of the town better than anyone, and is known to all as a tireless, efficient and effective leader,” said Mayor Bob Delves. “I am absolutely delighted with her decision.” In the overall scheme of Mountain Village’s evolution as a community, Montgomery has played a much more extensive role than merely working in Town Hall for the last seven years. She has been in Telluride since 1987, and for 15 years worked closely with Mountain Village developers Ron Allred and Jim Wells at the Telluride Ski and Golf Company during the town’s formative years. This background gives Montgomery a unique perspective of the community’s history. “We’ve got complexities up here that other resort communities don’t necessarily have,” she said, referring to Mountain Village’s start as a ski “company town,” its evolution from a Metropolitan District into its own municipality, its unique and complex development and density guidelines, among others. “It’s so easy to turn and point fingers to the past when you were not a part of that past,” she says. “We have evolved so far, and I give kudos to that history because we wouldn’t be where we are today without what has transpired in the past. And I like where we are now,” she says, admitting however that the community faces serious challenges in the coming years.
Kennefick New M.V. Town Clerk
Mountain Village Senior Deputy Town Clerk Jackie Kennefick assumed Kim Montgomery’s job of Mountain Village town clerk, in July. “Jackie has proven herself to be extremely skilled and capable to take on this new and challenging role,” said Montgomery, citing Kennefick's “attention to detail, ability to multi-task, and the breadth of knowledge she has gained in her current position make her the perfect candidate to step into this role and provide seamless service for the town and its constituents. I am excited to see Jackie take the clerk’s department to a new level of professional service.” Kennefick, who has worked for the Town of Mountain Village for three years, has lived in Telluride for 23 years, with long experience in the region.
Native Son William Bell Named City Manager
The City of Montrose hired William Bell, of Rhineland, Wisc., in May, as its new city manager. Bell, who was born and raised in Delta, said he wasn’t really looking for a job, but that he couldn’t resist applying for a job so close to his hometown. Bell has been a city manager for nine years, starting in Grant, Neb., and then for Turtle Lake, Wisc., before going to Rhinelander. He graduated from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, with degrees in administration of justice and psychology. He then started law school at Pepperdine University but decided to go back to Laramie, where he received a masters degree in public administration. He said he’s glad he didn’t become a lawyer. “I get to deal with the legal stuff without having to do paperwork all day long,” he said. With a population of about 8,000, Rhinelander is smaller than Montrose, but Bell said there are many similarities. “We love Rhinelander, and it’s very comparable to Montrose,” he said. Bell said his wife Melanie, a recreational therapist, is already working with local realtors to find a home for them and their two children.
Ouray’s County Attorney Earns Judgeship
County Attorney Mary Deganhart resigned on Aug. 5 to accept an appointment by Governor John Hickenlooper to be a judge in the 7th Judicial District. Deganhart, who has been county attorney for the last five and a half years, will have her chambers in Montrose, and hear “part of the docket in Montrose,” but will travel as necessary to courts in Ouray and San Miguel counties as well. She plans to retain her Ridgway residence.
The new judgeship was created by the Colorado legislature during the last legislative session. The district, which includes the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel, now has one more judge, bringing the total to five.
Deganhart interviewed with the district nominating commission on June 28. Then, as one of three finalists, she met with the governor on July 8. He made his choice and announcement July 13.
Dolores Schools Superintendent MacHale Now Heads Up Montrose School District
Mark MacHale, the former superintendent for the Dolores School District, said he was happy in Dolores, but when the job came open in Montrose, he thought it would be a good time for a new challenge. So MacHale, his wife Laurelee, and their two children, Maggie, 10, and Luke, 13, now live in downtown Montrose. “Montrose is the friendliest town in the state,” said MacHale. “My wife loves it, and this is the only job I applied for.” MacHale has a hard job ahead of him, dealing with a budget that’s been slashed to the bone, reduced by $3.7 million from last year’s $62 million. The school district, which normally employs about 800 people, is down to about 700 at present, he said, while the budget remains strapped. “Our first commitment is to the kids,” he said. “We do have to have quality teachers, but we also have to have bus drivers and student health clerks. We are competing in a global market and need to measure and see how the kids are doing,” he said. “The Colorado CSAP is a darn good test where they have to write things out…and with some multiple choice, but at a high level.”
Kyle Schumacher New Superintendent for Telluride R-I School District
Kyle Schumacher, Telluride R-I School District’s new superintendent, came to Telluride from Illinois School District 67, where he worked for 16 years. The last five of those years, Schumacher worked as the assistant superintendent of educational services, where he oversaw instructional technology, fine arts, curriculum development and the day-to-day management of school principals. The District had 2,300 students and four campuses. After 16 years in Lake Forest, Schumacher says that although he loved it, he was ready for a change. He’s scheduled to finish his doctoral program in the fall, and was eager to take what he saw as the next step in his career. Schumacher moved to Telluride with his wife, Kate, a special education teacher, and their 12-year-old son, Christian, and says they’re all excited to call Telluride home.
THS Principal Michael Conran Arrives From Illinois New Telluride High School Principal Michael Conran brings 23 years of educational experience, 16 of those as a principal, to Telluride. Throughout his career, he has worked in different schools along Chicago’s North Shore. Most recently, he spent four years as a principal at a school in Kenilworth and a year in Evanston, Illinois at what he calls, a “K-8 lab school” – a school with a focus on the performing arts. An appreciation for the arts is something that also drew him to Telluride. “I was attracted to Telluride because it’s very rich culturally,” he said. “I’ve been a musician my whole life; I’ve been in theater. I’m no Renaissance man, but I am a huge supporter of the fine arts. I like to participate and I like to enjoy.”
Montrose County Commissioner Henderson to Run Again
Montrose County Commissioner Ron Henderson announced in December that he has decided to seek a second term. He first won his District 1 seat in 2008.
A Delta native, Henderson has been a vocal supporter of the proposed uranium mill in the county’s west end and an equally vociferous opponent of Montrose Memorial Hospital’s move to non-profit status.
He will be challenged in the Republican primary by Montrose homebuilder Ed Ulibarri.
Montrose County Commissioner White to Seek Re-Election
Also at the end of the year, District 3 Commissioner David White announced his intention run again for Montrose County Commissioner. Like Henderson, White voted to appeal a court ruling approving the hospital change, a stance that earned White (and the other two commissioners) a recall attempt.
White will face a primary challenge from fellow Republican Jim Haugsness.
Colorado State Rep. Coram Will Run Again
At a Republican luncheon in Montrose Wednesday, Nov. 16, Colorado State Rep. Don Coram announced that he would run again for his seat in the State Legislature representing District 58. Coram told a crowd of about 50 of the party faithful at the Holiday Inn Express that he was proud that he had helped bring some bipartisan bills forward in the legislature, and helped kill a lot of bad bills. He also talked about unfunded federal mandates and state mandates that some businesses find impossible to follow, and said he would continue to fight them, if re-elected. The main speaker for the luncheon was State Sen. Steve King, of Grand Junction. King congratulated Coram on his decision to run for re-election and said they had worked closely together in Denver, where “there are so few of us representing rural Colorado. Don rides the brand,” he said.