Routt County commissioners reappoint Doug Monger to Colorado River District Board

In a 2-1 vote, commissioners favor former Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger

Former Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger was reappointed to the Colorado River District Board on Tuesday, Dec. 27, extending his time in the role he has filled since 2009.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted to reappoint former Commissioner Doug Monger to the Colorado River District Board on Tuesday, Dec. 27, passing over Commissioner-elect Sonja Macys, who had also applied for the role.

Monger, who was a commissioner from 2000 to 2020, has represented Routt County on the river district board since 2009. His new three-year term will end in 2026.

“I enjoy doing the work. I think I’ve done a good job for Routt County for us being relevant to that organization,” Monger said during an interview with county commissioners last week. “Yeah, my focus is in agriculture, but I’m also very good for doing things right for clean water.”

Commissioners approved Monger’s appointment on a 2-1 vote with Commissioner Tim Corrigan favoring Macys. Commissioner Tim Redmond said he valued Monger’s experience and his efforts to increase his water knowledge during his time representing Routt County on the district board.

“He’s seen a lot of these changes and been aware of what has happened in our state,” Redmond said. “I do believe that he will protect our water rights and negotiate for us for what is best for the county and the state of Colorado.”

Outgoing Commissioner Beth Melton said she was disappointed that there were not more applicants for the role and added that several people who had expressed interest to her did not apply.

While noting that Monger was not appointed to the board when he was first elected commissioner, Melton said she saw a benefit to allow Macys to settle into her new role before extending her responsibilities.

“I think that there’s always value in new perspectives,” Melton said. “That being said, I believe that former Commissioner Monger has served this board incredibly well. I feel he has developed a significant amount of knowledge in this area that benefits Routt County.”

In her interview, Macys said she thought serving on the river district board would be a valuable use of her time as a commissioner, as water is a high priority for constituents. Macys said she felt the water landscape for the Yampa Valley has changed significantly in recent years and that she has been on the forefront of those changes through her job with the Colorado Division of Water Resources.

“The problems that we’ve had (in the past) have been to some degree manageable, and now we’re down to this pinch point,” Macys said. “We’re going to need good thinking. We’re going to need new ideas and to be creative, nimble, collaborative.”

Corrigan said he also saw the benefit of new perspectives as well as having an elected official represent the county on the board.

“I think (Macys) could bring a new outlook and some new context to how we review these things,” Corrigan said.

The appointment to the river district board will need to be made official at the first county commissioners meeting on Jan. 3. Macys will be sworn in as commissioner the following week.

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