Former Hayden Mayor Tim Redmond sworn in as Routt County commissioner
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Routt County Board of Commissioners discovered a new complication to communicating over Zoom on Tuesday when new Commissioner Tim Redmond was officially sworn in.
They now have two commissioners named Tim.
It was evident early in the virtual swearing-in ceremony Tuesday when Interim County Manager Mark Collins asked “Tim” how he was. Redmond and Tim Corrigan, who also was sworn in Tuesday for his third term as a commissioner, both immediately responded.
“We’re going to have to come up with a convention as to who answers to ’Tim’,” Corrigan joked. “I believe I have seniority, so Mr. Redmond, you are just going to have to get a different name.”
Redmond joins the board at a pivotal time, as the county works to further rein in the pandemic and vaccinate residents, while dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19 both to the county and area businesses.
“Right off the bat, I think, it is trying to get this county back to business,” Redmond said. “It is difficult times with some tough decisions ahead, and it is going to be very hard to find that razor’s edge of balance that we’re going to need to walk.”
Striking that balance will be challenging, Redmond said, because there are camps on various sides that have strong opinions of what the county should do moving forward.
“Trying to find what is going to work and be the balance for all of us is going to be difficult, but that is what I signed up for,” Redmond said.
Corrigan agreed, saying he was looking forward to eventually returning to normal county functions at some point in 2021 as well as finalizing the county’s master plan.
Redmond, the former mayor of Hayden, is the first Black commissioner in the history of Routt County — something Redmond said is both an honor and a burden.
“Somebody’s got to walk through that door first,” Redmond said. “There have been times in this county where I pretty much was the minority, and it’s been a privilege and difficult. But I will say, this community has always given me a fair shot.”
Redmond was first appointed to the Hayden Town Council in 2009 before being elected in 2010. After serving two terms on the council, he was elected mayor in 2018. In November’s general election for county commissioner, he beat longtime incumbent Doug Monger by fewer than 2,000 votes.
While at the helm in Hayden, Redmond prioritized the small town’s economic stability, hoping to diversify a property tax base that currently is supported largely by the Hayden Station. Xcel Energy moved up its timeline to retire the coal-fired power plant Monday, with the generators both going off line by 2028.
“He is very aware of what we have worked for in Hayden,” Hayden Town Manager Mathew Mendisco said. “Even now, he is still staying involved.”
Mendisco said Redmond will be a good advocate for Hayden and District 2 at the county level, but he said he’ll also be a strong supporter of the entire county. The town manager said Redmond is willing to set aside personal and political views and listen to other people.
“Tim is one of the most authentic people that I have ever had the opportunity to work with,” Mendisco said.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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Editor’s note: This story was updated at 12:25 p.m to reflect more quarantines.