Jordan termination surprises observers
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Praise for a job well done and puzzlement at her dismissal has followed on the heels of news that Judy Jordan was sacked this week from her position as oil and gas liaison for Garfield County.Jordan, 48, had been on the job for about four years when she was terminated on Wednesday for reasons that have yet to be made clear.County administration officials have not responded to requests for comment about Jordan’s termination. County Manager Ed Green told the Post Independent on Monday, before Jordan received her termination notice, that he could not comment on personnel issues.Jordan’s attorney, Tim Whitsitt of Carbondale, said Jordan is considering whether to submit an administrative appeal to her dismissal, and would not comment for now.Some area residents have reacted with alarm, worrying that the move signals the county is more aligned with industry interests than citizens.”I’m very disappointed, but not at all surprised,” said Silt area resident Nikki Fender. She said she fears the county is more concerned about the industry’s welfare than that of the citizens at large.”Judy Jordan was very knowledgeable and willing to work for both sides in an unbiased way,” Fender said, referring to industry and citizens. “I mean, there were times we wished she would be more on the citizens’ side. I really think the county has made a huge mistake.”Former Garfield County commissioner Trsi Houpt, who was defeated last year by new commissioner Tom Jankovsky, agreed.”Judy was a very well-qualified person for the job,” Houpt said. Jordan “brought a perspective that was different from Doug Dennison,” one of Jordan’s predecessors in the job, who worked in the mining industry prior to taking the job and left in 2006 to work for the gas industry.Houpt said the gas industry’s main interest “is the bottom line. But the responsibility of people who work for the county government is for the people of the county.”She said the current board probably decided Jordan “wasn’t toeing the line in supporting the industry, and was let go.”Industry representatives also seemed caught off guard about Jordan’s dismissal.”Judy’s commitment to the welfare of Garfield County residents, and her genuine effort to be neutral and effective on complex issues during her tenure, has always been appreciated by all – despite policy-related disagreements that arise from time to time,” David Ludlam, executive director of the Western Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association, wrote in an email.Sher Long, a spokeswoman for EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), said relations with Jordan had improved after January 2010, when EnCana signed a letter criticizing both Jordan and the county’s Energy Advisory Board.”Things have gotten definitely better,” Long said, noting that county staff members, including Jordan, have been attending monthly operators’ meetings. “It just gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better,” Long email@example.com
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