Batchelder named new Garfield County manager
Garfield County commissioners agreed unanimously Monday to keep the job of county manager in house, formally appointing deputy county manager Kevin Batchelder to the lead administrative position effective Jan. 1.
Batchelder has been deputy county manager since April 2014 and was appointed acting manager in July following the departure of former County Manager Andrew Gorgey.
Batchelder was one of three finalists chosen for the manager’s position. The others were current La Plata County Manager Joseph Kerby and Tim Boyde, chief administrator for Centre County, Pennsylvania.
“We had more than 40 applicants from around the country, and a very competitive field of finalists for the position,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said. “Kevin stood out due to his experience, leadership and knowledge of Garfield County.”
Batchelder will be paid $145,000 a year under the terms of the contract reached between he and the commissioners.
Commissioners decided to conduct the search through the county’s human resources department, rather than using an outside search consultant.
“It was important to the commissioners that we conduct a transparent and competitive national search for our next county manager,” Jankovsky said.
During the interim period, Batchelder led the county through the 2016 budget process, leaning on his 26 years of experience in public administration, including 18 years as the chief administrative officer for both metropolitan and rural municipalities.
“My emphasis moving forward will be to provide excellent customer service and continual improvement in the provision of public services,” Batchelder said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with the Board of County Commissioners to advance its priorities in services, and in making Garfield County a better place to live, work and visit.”
Batchelder helped form a county project management team to provide better coordination between departments and oversight of capital projects. Several major projects are included in the 2016 budget, including work to improve the Cattle Creek/Highway 82 intersection, a Rifle Garfield County Airport entryway project, Garfield County Fairgrounds improvements, new property acquisitions and completion of a new satellite administration building in Rifle.
Batchelder also represents the county on several boards and committees, including the Garfield County Economic Development Partners, the Garfield County Water Forum, the Colorado Mountain College Rifle Campus Advisory Board, regionally on Club 20, and statewide with Colorado Counties Inc.
He holds the “credentialed manager” certification from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and last was recognized for 25 years of local government service as an ICMA member. He is also a member of the Colorado City/County Management Association and the Association of Colorado County Administrators.
“My family and I have made Garfield County our permanent home,” Batchelder added. “It is a wonderful place to raise a family and we are enjoying being part of the community.”
Batchelder was hired as deputy manager by Gorgey, who served the county for three years, including as county attorney before he was appointed county manager. Gorgey, recently hired as interim Glenwood Springs city manager, and the county commissioners mutually agreed to part ways last summer.
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The family of Rosie Ferrin has worked to clean up and make safe again the old schoolhouse in downtown New Castle. Ferrin died this summer and had owned the building that included classrooms turned into apartments for years.