Hayden’s new town manager sought small town life
Steamboat Springs — Hayden’s new town manager understands the inner-workings of government and has a true desire to return to small-town life.
Mathew Mendisco will be moving from Aurora with his family to settle into his new job Dec. 19. Hayden has not had a town manager since January.
“Selecting a town manager is a big deal,” Mendisco said. “I congratulate them for having the patience to find the right person, and I’m glad it was me.”
The town council knew Mendisco had a genuine interest in moving to Hayden. He had applied for the job before and was a top choice, but the council ultimately chose David Torgler.
“The biggest thing for me is I think he wants to be up here,” Mayor Jim Haskins said. “Sometimes, a problem we have is a reluctance of people to live in Hayden. They want to work here and live in Steamboat.”
This time, Mendisco had more experience when he interviewed for the job. For the past nine years, Mendisco has been working with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP in Greenwood Village as a consultant for local governments and private developers in Colorado.
“He was on top of everybody’s list,” Haskins said. “The staff felt very comfortable with him.”
Mendisco will be paid a salary of $95,000, which is significantly more than past town managers. The last town manager was hired on at $75,000, and he was making $81,000 when he left.
Acting town manager Greg Tuliszewski said they reviewed comparable town manager salaries and felt the amount they offered Mendisco was necessary to attract the right person.
Mendisco was raised in a town of about 500 people in Naturita in southwest Colorado. His wife, Heidi, is also from a small town, and they wanted to escape from the Front Range with their three children. Hayden seemed like a good fit.
“I like the fact that people are going to be vested,” Mendisco said. “They want to improve the community.”
Haskins said that Mendisco has challenges ahead of him.
Mendisco on Tuesday night was awaiting the election results, which included tax initiatives to stabilize the town’s finances. He did not get the news he was hoping for.
“It’s going to be a row to hoe up here,” Haskins said.
Mendisco said he sees a lot of opportunities in Hayden, and during his first year, he will determine what sort of economic development potential there is.
“I think the development needs to make sense for the community,” Mendisco said.
Mendisco received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Fort Lewis College and a master’s degree in political science with a focus in leadership and public policy.
In his free time, he likes to spend times outdoors skiing and hunting. He is also a home brewer.
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Steamboat Springs part-time resident David Dennis is approaching the third-year mark from when his right leg was amputated below the knee.