Tom Leeson hired as city’s new deputy city manager
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Tom Leeson will join the city of Steamboat Springs as deputy city manager on May 18.
For the past six years, Leeson has essentially been commuting between Fort Collins and Steamboat.
While he spent the work week as the community development and neighborhood services director for the city of Fort Collins, on weekends Leeson returned home to Steamboat and his wife, Tiffany, who grew up in Steamboat. Their two daughters, ages 18 and 21, are fifth-generation Yampa Valley residents.
Leeson said he applied for the position in Steamboat for both personal and professional reasons. Pursuing more of a leadership role is a “natural progression for my career,” Leeson said.
The deputy city manager position was re-created following the retirement of Director of General Services Alan Lind in February.
Without adding to the budget, there was a realignment of city departments to help spread out some workload from City Manager Gary Suiter’s office.
“As second in charge for the city, this position will oversee the city clerk, communications, facilities, information systems, intergovernmental services and the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority and report directly to the city manager,” according to a news release.
“We’re fortunate to have Tom join our team and city,” Suiter said in the release. “His breadth of experience and knowledge, combined with his familiarity with Steamboat Springs, will be a significant asset to the community. This is even more important as the city charts its road to recovery from the current pandemic.”
In Fort Collins, Leeson oversaw more than 80 employees and an annual budget of nearly $9 million, guided key service areas across the city and managed several large scale projects involving multiple government agencies.
Leeson received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Massachusetts and holds two master’s degrees from the University of Colorado and University of Maryland.
He first moved to Steamboat around 2000 with Clarion Associates, a land-use consulting firm, before working for the city for about a decade.
In Steamboat, Leeson held the position of planning and community development director from 2005 to 2010, after holding the roles of assistant director, senior planner and planner II.
“I’m looking forward to joining the team and helping out in any way I can,” Leeson said, acknowledging the unprecedented times in which he’ll begin his job.
Leeson is not starting until May 18, because he wants to give the city of Fort Collins adequate time to transition him out, he said.
As the city begins significant budget cuts, Leeson said he is prepared to face the current challenges.
“I am looking to the future, and I know it will get better,” Leeson said.
The city is currently under a hiring freeze with a few exceptions, including Leeson’s position.
While Leeson said he enjoyed his time in Fort Collins, during which he gained valuable new skills and experience he’s happy to be coming back to Steamboat.
“I’m looking forward to being involved in a community that I really love and consider home,” Leeson added. “And I am ready to apply what I know and learned to Steamboat.”
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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