Fox lauded for service |

Fox lauded for service

Longtime resident, civic volunteer honored Tuesday for city contributions

— Carol Fox was celebrated Tuesday night as a devoted civic volunteer who could serve up a pointed comment or a pithy lecture that somehow left the recipient feeling good about it.

“I’ve always known Carol to be very smart, very fair, hard-headed, and someone who did her homework,” County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush said. “She knows just the right question to ask and just the right time to make it work.”

Fox was presented with the city’s Distinguished Service Award by City Council President Loui Antonucci before an audience of nearly 300 admirers who stood and applauded. She served eight years on the city Planning Commission, two terms on City Council and even a couple of terms on the Board of Adjustment.

Fox let out a “wow” when Donna Howell, of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, informed her that the newly minted Carol Booth Fox Garden Fund already contained $20,000 dedicated to allowing her to design gardens at Yampa River Botanic Park and the Rollingstone Respite House. The funds rolled in from friends and admirers. The city and county also will contribute to the fund.

“You have a lot of work to do yet,” Howell told Fox.

Former City Council president Kathy Connell reminded the audience that Fox is a consummate hostess who serves elegant dinners but staying in character, steadfastly refuses to divulge the secrets of her legendary martinis.

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Fox always has been self-effacing, Connell said, and also is a stickler for applying the democratic process in even the most minor deliberations. In this case, Connell said, Fox would have no choice but to accept her assignment and follow through on the gardens.

“I want to tell you, Carol, this is not a democracy,” Connell said. “This was decided by a lot of people who love you and want some more work out of you.”

Another former City Council president, Kevin Bennett, recalled how during the 1990s, Fox furthered the goals of conserving open space surrounding the city and played a leadership role in the construction of Centennial Hall. As a planning commissioner, she helped an earlier council build the Yampa River Core Trail that linked downtown with the neighborhoods at the ski mountain.

“During all of these projects and efforts, we had Carol Fox to guide us and Carol Fox to keep on us,” Bennett said. “We benefited from her tenacity and straightforwardness.”

Antonucci paid her one of the highest compliments of the evening.

“When I called her to inform her that council required her presence tonight,” Antonucci said, “she replied, ‘What the heck for?’ So, nothing has changed in 30 years. Carol Fox still embodies the true spirit of our community and the qualities that set us apart from other towns.”

– To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail