Assistant director named county planning chief |

Assistant director named county planning chief

— Caryn Fox will be able to maintain project consistency in the Routt County planning process as she moves into the planning director position, according to county officials.

The Board of County Commissioners announced Wednesday that Fox will fill the director’s position being vacated by Ellen HHnounced her resignation last month in order to take a part-time job with the Regional Affordable Living Foundation. Her last day at the Routt County Planning Department will be May 5, when Fox will move from assistant director to director.

County Commis-sioner Dan Ellison said the transition should be smooth.

“Caryn’s very familiar with our process and the issues the office faces,” Ellison said. “Oftentimes, when there’s a vacancy in an office like that, there are rough edges, but this way, there won’t be any hiccups.”

Fox, who has a degree in wildlife biology, started with Routt County as a zoning coordinator in 1981, moving up through the years from planner to assistant director.

Although she’s never officially held the top position in the Planning Department before, the director’s job isn’t exactly new to her.

She acted as the interim planning director for five months when Hs on maternity leave in 1998.

At that time, Fox assisted the Catamount Lake and Ranch Development through an extensive planning process.

“That was a hectic time, but I’m hoping this adjustment will be a little bit easier,” Fox said. “It will be challenging. I hope I can meet everyone’s expectations.”

Hid Fox will be able to put into action several recently adopted community plans.

“She’s very detail-oriented and knows what to expect from the job,” Hid. “We’re moving from a lot of long-range community plans and vision documents, into implementing those plans and refining the regulations for today’s environment.”

Fox said she wants to see how projects proposed in Stagecoach and west of Steamboat actually relate to plans for those areas.

“I’m looking forward to implementing those and seeing how they work for the community,” Fox said.

She also wants to use new software to automate files and utilize 3-D software from the Orton Foundation, which will help planners see how projects will look before they’re on the ground.

Fox said she didn’t apply for the director position when it opened six years ago but was willing to try this time because her children are getting older.

Fox was chosen from a “handful” of applicants, Ellison said. The position was posted to county employees and advertised locally. The county did not look for applicants from outside the region.

County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said the board wanted to see if a local applicant would fit their qualifications and would be interested in the salary offered.

If that didn’t work, Stahoviak said the county would then have advertised statewide or nationally.

The county was paying H0,000 after her six years as planning director.

The annual starting salary for a new planning director ranges from $51,000 to $54,000. Fox said her salary will be at the high end of that range. The exact amount will be finalized by the Board of Commissioners on Monday.

Ellison said the county considered the five-month search the city of Steamboat Springs went through to hire a planning director at $77,000 a year.

“We looked at the time and effort the city had to go through and the fact that we had a well-seasoned veteran in-house who we believed had a lot of capabilities,” Ellison said.

The county escaped a lengthy search for a planning director; now, officials will decide how to fill the assistant director position that Fox will vacate.

— To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail

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