GVCA supports hiring a broad range of skills in new oil and gas liaison
The Grand Valley Citizens Alliance (GVCA) has a good idea who the next Garfield County oil and gas liaison shouldn’t be. They don’t want a public relations person. Duke Cox read a letter sent to the board of county commissioners last week to the Energy Advisory Board (EAB) Thursday night in Rifle outlining what skills that person should have.The oil and gas liaison acts as an intermediary between citizens and the industry and represents county government. The Garfield County position has seen several turnovers in staff since its inception three years ago. The last person to hold the job this year left after a few months to take a more lucrative position in the oil and gas industry.Cox, who heads up the oil and gas activist group, said the person who gets the job should work well with people, have a working knowledge of the industry and be good at mediating.”Over the past several years, there have been a high number of complaints from impacted individuals who must receive some meaningful response from the county,” the letter read.GVCA has acted as a support group for residents in areas heavily impacted by gas drilling, notably south of Silt and Rifle, who have experienced issues with noise, dust, traffic and odors.Acting liaison and assistant county manager Jesse Smith said the commissioners will “reconsider” the position at their regular meeting Monday. He said the job will be widely advertised and a selection committee will include two members of the EAB.”In reading the GVCA letter, I don’t know how the implication came that we are only interested in a public relations person,” he said. “We want a person with strong organizational and communication skills, a good facilitator with mediation skills … who is able to work with a broad part of the community in an equitable way.”EAB member Duane Guettler asked if the county could pay a higher salary, perhaps $70,000, to entice someone to stay in the job. In 2006 the position was budgeted to pay approximately $65,000 in wages.Smith said if the wage were increased beyond what was budgeted, “You run the risk of blowing the whole pay (level) in the county. You can’t offer $100,000 because no one in the county makes $100,000.”Besides the liaison, a part-time clerical support and a part-time field inspector are also budgeted, Smith said.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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