Meet your new Garfield County treasurer
A combination of public service experience in neighboring Eagle County and a rare opportunity to work alongside her predecessor for several months before taking office has prepared Karla Bagley to take the helm of the Garfield County Treasurer’s Office.
“It’s not very often that a new elected official gets to work with the outgoing official,” Bagley said of her chance to learn the ropes from longtime Garfield Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain, who retired after 28 years in office.
Bagley, a Silt-area resident and chief deputy public trustee in the Eagle County Treasurer’s Office for the past 10 years, was officially sworn into office on Dec. 31. Chamberlain, a Democrat, decided not to run for another term.
Bagley, who won the Republican nomination for treasurer last spring, was unopposed in the November election. She said that afforded the opportunity for a smooth transition that started late last summer.
“It has been a hugely positive experience to work with Georgia and to get to know the staff over the past several months. And, it’s been a lot of fun,” she said.
“After many years in public service I felt like I had a lot of experience to offer Garfield County,” Bagley said of her decision to seek elected office. “The treasurer’s office has been very well run for many years, and I hope to make it even better.”
Bagley has committed her career to public administration since going to work for the Eagle County Treasurer’s Office in 1989 for the first five years of her career. She also grew up in Eagle and graduated from Eagle Valley High School.
In 1994, she moved to Washington state where, in addition to raising a family, she also worked as an administrator for the Community Action Center, a nonprofit human service agency serving Whitman County in eastern Washington.
She also studied political science at Washington State University and continued her studies through WSU after returning to Colorado in 2005, where she had the opportunity to go back to work for longtime Eagle County Treasurer Karen Sheaffer as chief deputy public trustee.
She moved to Silt Mesa three years ago with her husband, Silt native Tim Bagley. They have six children between them and four grandchildren.
As the new Garfield County Treasurer, Bagley will oversee an office of 7.5 full-time employees, which is comparable to the office she came from in Eagle County.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to serve the public in Garfield County,” she said.
In addition to carrying out the statutory duties of county treasurer, including sending out annual property tax notices and collecting both property and sales taxes, as well as overseeing the public trustee duties related to real estate transactions and foreclosures, Bagley said she will place an emphasis on customer service.
That includes using technology in a way that benefits taxpayers and the public in general, while making sure the office runs as efficiently as possible, she said.
The first few months on the job will also give her the opportunity to evaluate things and look for any efficiencies, she said.
In addition to Chamberlain’s retirement, longtime chief deputy public trustee Bob Slade retired at the end of December as well. Another longtime deputy trustee, Evelyn Olson, will take the lead in that department, Bagley said.
Bagley will also attend the quadrennial training for new county treasurers in Colorado next month, and said she has already gotten to know several of the newly elected treasurers since the November election.
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