Garfield County commissioners getting more involved with daily operations |

Garfield County commissioners getting more involved with daily operations

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Garfield County commissioners will be more involved in the “day-to-day oversight” of the county’s staff, in the form of regular meetings with County Manager Ed Green and County Attorney Andrew Gorgey that will be off the record and behind closed doors.

But the new management regime is not to be viewed as micro-managing the county, at least two members of the three-member Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) said Monday.

“I don’t think that’s our goal at all,” said Commissioner Mike Samson, who said he is primarily the one who is behind the new policy.

“To begin with,” Samson continued with a grin, “I’m not making enough money to be micro-managing the county. He [pointing at Green] makes ‘three times’ what I make.”

Samson was exaggerating a bit. The BOCC recently signed a renewed “engagement of services” with Green, at an annual salary of more than $133,000. The commissioners each earn approximately $72,500 per year.

Commissioner John Martin, at Monday’s meeting of the BOCC in Carbondale, explained that the policy is intended to keep the commissioners in closer touch with their top management as well as to ensure that policies are being implemented as the BOCC intends.

The meetings, he said, will involve “just day-to-day priority type stuff … reality questions that need to be answered … to see that direction is being followed.”

According to Samson, when he first started serving on the BOCC three years ago, he was surprised to learn that the commissioners did not have such meetings regularly with the two employees who report directly to the BOCC – the manager and the attorney.

“I guess I just started asking questions about that,” Samson went on, noting that as a retired educator he was aware of similar relationships between school boards and their superintendents.

“They do it all the time,” he said.

He mentioned “some communication problems” between the BOCC and Green in the past, although he could not provide any details regarding such problems.

According to Green, something like half the counties in Colorado do not employ county managers.

One of those is Arapahoe county, Green said. Arapahoe County has a population of more than 500,000 and is the third most populous county in the state, Green said.

Instead of a manager, he said, the five county commissioners divide up the management duties among themselves.

Given that precedent, the BOCC voted to adopt the new policy and hold “supervisory” meetings on the second Monday of each month, unless conflicts require that the meeting be scheduled at another time.

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