Letter: Praise for Hecksel
Glenwood Springs residents have been well-served by City Manager Jeff Hecksel for the past 11 years. Thanks to Jeff and his talented staff, our city government has been run professionally and efficiently through both good times and bad.
Under his watch, Glenwood Springs planned and built a new wastewater treatment plant that will serve the city for the next half-century while freeing up land for redevelopment at the city’s confluence area. He helped to negotiate a deal to build a new library and expand CMC’s district headquarters downtown, while also constructing a much-needed downtown parking structure.
When the recession hit in 2008, he oversaw the difficult task of cutting staff and expenses while preserving essential services. Most recently, he helped guide the city through the contentious process of overseeing CDOT’s plans to replace the Grand Avenue bridge.
Because Colorado’s Open Meetings law allows personnel matters to be handled largely behind closed doors, we may never know the reason why our mayor and three other members of the City Council were so determined to force Jeff out. Suspicions run toward the belief — which I disagree with — that city government has been insufficiently supportive of the business community.
What’s clear, however, is that parts of his dismissal process were conducted in a secretive and disrespectful manner, and that he deserved better.
Thanks to Jeff, Glenwood Springs is a better, stronger community than when he arrived. He and his family will be missed.
Here’s hoping that our next city manager can live up to the high standards that Jeff has set.
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