City finance chief pedals off to Erie |

City finance chief pedals off to Erie

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen finance director Bill Powell submitted his resignation Monday, three days shy of his one-year anniversary with the city.

Powell, 49, said he has accepted a post as director of finance and administration with the city of Erie, a Front Range community north of Denver. His resignation is effective March 29.

His new post represents career advancement and offers a jump in salary and a chance to own a home, according to Powell, who currently rents a unit at the city’s Water Place employee housing complex. He described the post as “a better fit.”

An avid bicyclist, Powell will also enjoy a longer biking season in Erie.

“You can ride darn near year-round there,” he said.

Powell came to Aspen from the Front Range a year ago, succeeding Tabatha Miller, who took a post with Jazz Aspen Snowmass. She is currently working part time and on a contract basis for the city on specific finance projects.

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Powell had been assistant to the city manager in Wheat Ridge for 10 years before taking the post in Aspen. He worked for the city of Aurora for 15 years before his stint in Wheat Ridge and had worked at the Aspen Meadows Health Center for about 16 months in the mid-1970s.

He took the helm of the city finance office at a challenging time. The assistant finance director, David Hurd, had just resigned to take a job in the private sector, and the city was in the midst of crunching numbers to determine the impact of a legal challenge to the real estate transfer taxes it collects. The lawsuit was later dropped.

Also during Powell’s tenure, a city budget director came and went.

Kathleen VonAchen was recently hired as the new budget director. No assistant director was named to replace Hurd; instead, accountant Karin Grance was promoted to controller in the Finance Department.

“I think the staff here, citywide, is great,” Powell said. “It’s probably one of the best staffs I will ever have a chance to work with.”

No decisions regarding the naming of an interim finance director or the search for Powell’s replacement have yet been made, City Manager Steve Barwick said.

Powell’s annual salary in Aspen is $73,000. His new job will pay $78,000, he said.

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