Garfield County Manager Kevin Batchelder to step down in September |

Garfield County Manager Kevin Batchelder to step down in September

Garfield County Manager Kevin Batchelder will be retiring effective Sept. 16, a county news release states, after nearly eight years in the position.

Batchelder, who recently turned 65, was hired by the Board of County Commissioners for the county’s top leadership position in early 2015. He said in a county news release issued Monday morning that he plans to spend more time with friends and family, as well as traveling and pursuing outdoor recreation opportunities.

He and his wife, Karin, are residents of Glenwood Springs. Batchelder indicated they will remain in the community after his retirement.

“My service as county manager has been incredibly rewarding, both professionally and personally, and I would like to thank you for the opportunity, as well as the support you have given me throughout my tenure,” Batchelder wrote in his retirement notice to the BOCC. “The county is in a strong position financially, with a talented and dedicated management team in place. I am confident the county is in good hands.

“I could not have asked for a more rewarding end to a long public service career,” he added.

Batchelder is the second top local government official to announce plans to leave their position in recent weeks. Glenwood Springs City Manager Debra Figueroa announced last month that she will be stepping down effective July 8 to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.

A Colorado native, following graduate school Batchelder entered public service in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, where he served for seven years as assistant city administrator, followed by five years as city administrator. He returned to Colorado as town manager in Silverthorne for more than 13 years before joining Garfield County.

“I’ve worked in local government management for 33 years in three different communities, and I’m proud that I’ve left a legacy in all three locations,” he said.

During his time with Garfield County, Batchelder assisted the county in successfully applying to locate the Center for Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting at the Rifle Garfield County Airport, the release states.

“He also worked to revamp the county’s capital project program, which has resulted in more efficient capital projects, better bidding and award processes, and updated infrastructure,” the release states.

Numerous policies related to finances, public safety, information technology and the county motor pool were also updated under Batchelder’s watch.

County commissioners congratulated Batchelder on his retirement and thanked him for his service to county government.

“His legacy is the staff he has hired to work in Garfield County and his ability to guide the direction of the county commissioners with the operations of the county,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said in the release. “He’s been able to blend those abilities well, to the benefit of our community.”

“When I think of Kevin, I think of a steady hand,” added Commissioner Mike Samson. “I’ve seen him in many instances perform his duties in a very fair, honest, and equitable way. I wish him and his family the best in the future, and for him to know that he always has a place to visit if he wants to reminisce with old friends.”

Commission Chairman John Martin said the commissioners have not yet discussed next steps in finding a new county manager but will likely do so within the next week.

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