Montrose County Dubs 2013 ‘The Year of PRIDE’
by William Woody
Dec 30, 2012 | 1087 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTROSE COUNTY PRIDE - A large gathering of Montrose County employees watched a presentation by Corinne Schearer on Thursday, Dec. 20, during the first annual all county staff meeting at Friendship Hall. (Photo by William Woody)
MONTROSE COUNTY PRIDE - A large gathering of Montrose County employees watched a presentation by Corinne Schearer on Thursday, Dec. 20, during the first annual all county staff meeting at Friendship Hall. (Photo by William Woody)
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MONTROSE – Montrose County administration officials are working to develop a new identity for the coming new year, and the coming-onboard County Manager Roy (Rick) Eckert, emphasizing a high level of professionalism, fiscal responsibility and leadership accountability.

On Thursday, Dec. 20, a majority of the county's 365 fulltime employees gathered at Friendship Hall for a first-ever all-county staff meeting, which will be held annually, officials say. County offices closed for the gathering for almost two hours (personnel stayed on site in its critical departments) for the all-staff staff meeting, giving all employees the opportunity to meet Eckert, who comes onboard Jan. 2. Eckert succeeds Jesse Smith, who was county manager for three years.  

On a large projection screen, the slogan "People Representing Integrity and Delivering Excellence," or PRIDE, was displayed. It is to be the key phrase for 2013, with the goal of raising the bar for public service in the future.

Through new employee training programs, new technology that can track employee performance and highlight areas for improvement and a "shift in culture," county offices will better serve citizens, according to Montrose County's Organizational Performance and Training Specialist Corinne Shearer.

"Our goal in 2013 is the Year of PRIDE," she told the audience. "We're making sure this aligns with our mission statement and our strategic business plan," she said separately.

Shearer said revamping and improving the county's effectiveness towards serving the average citizen is part of the county's strategic business plan, created three years ago and driven by the former county manager Smith. 

Smith, whose last day at the county is Dec. 31, said goodbye to the gathering, describing his time with Montrose County as "a real journey and a real joy."

Smith said it was important to implement a strategic plan tied to the county's "departmental strategic budget plan," to reduce wasteful expenditures, make public services more efficient, and prioritize areas of funding.  

"We have to change the financial system to meet the strategic plan and to tie them two together," he said. "You are the best bunch of people I have ever had the opportunity to work with," Smith concluded, receiving applause.

Both Smith and county commissioner Gary Ellis acknowledged the county has faced “trials and tribulations” in recent years, citing costly and controversial litigation, taxes and a recent budget approval process that garnered sharp opposition from some members of the public. Ellis emphasized that those concerns have been taken seriously by the board of commissioners, and that the majority of citizens approve of the operation of the county's government.

"We want this to be a professional organization, [and] that's the direction we're heading," Ellis told staff as he opened the meeting. 

Commissioner Ron Henderson pronounced the event a good opportunity for employees to meet one another and "get to know each other's tasks. 

"The fact of the matter is we're all living, breathing human beings living in paradise and trying to figure out how to do that more successfully," Henderson said.

Eckert, who has 25 years of experience in county and municipal leadership, introduced himself, and outlined his goals for the future. He chosen from a field of five finalists, and signed a three-year contract for his service.

 

wwoody@watchnewspapers.com

Twitter: @williamwoodyCO

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