County Update: Farewell from Commissioner Doug Monger
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to serve Routt County and be a public servant, working to improve and enhance the quality of life here. None of the following would have been achieved without the support of my family, the citizens of Routt County and a great county staff from top to bottom.
The success of regional and state partnerships that I have been privileged to share have advanced Routt County’s presence and influence. It has been a pleasure working and collaborating with all my fellow Routt commissioners: Commissioners Ellison, Stahoviak, Mitsch-Bush, Ivancie, Hermacinski, Corrigan and Melton. As a fourth generation Routt County native, I have always seen my task as providing a healthy, vibrant and stable Routt County as my primary objective. Being a natural introvert, my skills have truly stretched. My mission in life remains to create a place for future generations, yours and mine, that affords opportunities and predictability.
I would like to take a moment to reflect on a few of the items that you and I have completed and/or maintained during my 20 years of service:
• Constructed new Routt County Justice Center
• Remodeled and renovated the historic Routt County Courthouse
• Constructed 4-H/fair multi-purpose arena at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden, including RV park and bathrooms
• Facilitated Joint Combined Law Enforcement Facility and new communication center
• Renovated and majorly expanded Yampa Valley Regional Airport terminal and major outbuildings
• Constructed state-of-the-art 911 dispatch and emergency response system
Through these projects we were able to responsibly maintain and improve Routt County services:
• Attracted and retained quality personnel with fair compensation and benefits
• Maintained and improved a quality road and bridge system with over 900 miles of road with 200 miles hard surfaced
• Maintained county pay-as-you-go financing system to replace major assets
• Continued operation of county government on existing revenue stream without the need of additional general fund taxes
• Sustained budgets to keep up with inflation and population growth of the county
• Developed many partnerships in the provision of government services
• Implemented energy audits and green sustainable improvements
• Survived the 9/11 nationwide tragedy and withstood the 2007 Great Recession
• Grew a regional airport from using tents to a respectable terminal, creating a major county asset
• Assisted in creating a multi-jurisdictional Yampa Valley Housing Authority with property tax funding
• Created a Museum and Cultural Heritage property tax fund and program
• Applied a successful purchase of development rights (PDR) program
• Created a Horizons tax and program
• Grew an emergency dispatch program to pace growth and new recreation lifestyle
• Partnered for a quality early childhood education program
• Mostly surviving the COVID-19 pandemic
I have been fortunate to represent Routt County regionally, statewide and nationally. My leadership roles have included Colorado Counties Inc., Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, Yampa Valley Airport Commission, numerous water boards, Yampa Valley Housing Authority, First Impressions Early Childhood Council and legislative wildland fire task forces.
Commissioner-elect Redmond will be sworn in Tuesday, and I wish him and the county the best of luck and fortune. For our county to be successful, our commissioners need to be successful. Success moves us forward as a county. Don’t lose sight of where we came from, that is what makes this the wonderful place we all call home.
We might not always philosophically agree, but I personally pledge to work for the future success of our county, which will require compromises. Success means putting aside our political differences and working toward a common good.
We will have changes. While we change, let’s not lose track of our soul. Let’s not lose track of why we live in this wonderful place, why we moved here, why we came back home and why we stayed here.
Happy trails to all as we move toward an un-COVID-19 new year.
Doug Monger served as a Routt County commissioner for 20 years.
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