County loses Konchan as its manager
County Manager Suzanne Konchan has announced her resignation after nearly 10 years with Pitkin County.
Konchan cited the need to spend more time with her children, ages 3 and 7, and to explore new career options. Her last day on the job will be Dec. 22.
County manager since August 1995, Konchan first joined the county’s planning staff in April 1991 and was made planning director in October of that year. As county manager, she saw the county through such projects as the controversial rural and remote zoning of backcountry areas and the purchase, by a coalition of valley governments, of the Rio Grande railroad right of way.
Konchan said she had considered her resignation for some time and was announcing her decision before the Nov. 7 election so that it would not appear to have any connection to the election results.
“I know there’s always attempts to speculate that it’s politically connected,” she said.
“I’ve been juggling a full-time job for 17 years,” Konchan said. “I want to work on a much more part-time basis.” But her current job, which pays her $99,992 annually, requires just too much time and energy, she said.
“You need to put in 110 percent as county manager,” she said.
Konchan said she would consider working part-time for Pitkin County if an opportunity presented itself. She and her family will continue to live in Basalt. Her husband, Dave Konchan, is project manager for the town of Basalt.
She said she will miss working with the county commissioners and staff and will also miss the many challenges of the position.
County Commissioner Dorothea Farris said she and her fellow commissioners have been aware that Konchan needed more time for her family, and she praised Konchan’s performance.
“I think we need to recognize the contribution she’s made,” Farris said. “We’ve never had a manager as good as Suzanne.”
Commission Chairwoman Shellie Roy Harper said Konchan’s resignation is a great loss to the county.
“Her ability to keep track of all the details that come at us is uncanny,” Harper said, adding that she tried to talk Konchan out of leaving but couldn’t.
“Her reasons are good,” Harper said. “It’s one of the problems working women are faced with.”
Farris said the county will begin a search for a new manager some time after the election, so that the new board of commissioners will be involved in the search. The county’s department heads will meet soon to determine the criteria to be used in the selection of Konchan’s replacement.
The search may be extended to applicants from outside the state, Farris said. She said an interim manager will be hired until a permanent replacement is found.
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