Eagle County resurrects assistant manager role
Eagle Valley Enterprise
Aspen, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colo. – Eagle County, meet your new assistant manager, Aspen native Rachel Oys.
The 34-year-old has been tapped to serve in a position that has not been formally filled since 2009. She will assist County Manager Keith Montag with a variety of administrative matters and special projects, as well as overseeing day-to-day operations during Montag’s absences.
“We’re still working on dividing the responsibilities,” Montag said. “We’ve got a top gun here – she brings such an extensive background to the position.”
Oys holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Russian, a master’s degree in public policy and a law degree, all from the University of Denver. She joined the county as its director of public health in 2009 and was promoted to director of health and human services in April 2010. Prior to her employment at Eagle County, she led the development of LiveWell Colorado and the Healthy Living Branch of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Oys officially started as Eagle County assistant manager on Nov. 15. The county does not intend to hire a separate director of Health and Human Services, and Oys will continue to serve in the role.
“I never pictured myself in this job when I finished school, but it absolutely feels like the right fit,” said Oys, who was born in Aspen and grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Montag said Oys is very skilled at dealing with people.
“Her success at HHS was something I wanted to expand to the rest of the county organization,” he said.
Since the economic downturn, budget cuts and downsizing, Montag has been taking stock of how to make the county’s operations as “efficient and effective as possible.”
“A big part of that is communication – both internal and external,” he said. “We want to be as transparent as possible.”
Basically, the county is trying to find ways to do more with less, something Oys excelled at in her HHS position.
Health and Human Services deals with economic services such as assistance programs, public health and children and family services.
“Now consider that the bad economy has resulted in more people being in need – it translates to more demand on HHS, which is also facing a budget challenge,” Montag said.
Oys and Montag are co-leading a plan to be implemented throughout the county organization within 90 days. They anticipated unveiling the plan to county staff on Friday.
Montag said making Oys assistant manager, and implementing the new plan, is intended to streamline services and functions and is not anticipated to increase or decrease the number of county employees.
“Eagle County has gone through a tremendous amount of change over the last three years,” he said. “We’ve downsized our staff significantly, and it’s time to take a comprehensive look at how our departments can potentially work better together. (Oys) brings a strong background in organizational development that will be invaluable as we evaluate how we do business.”
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Volunteers are being sought by the city and county to serve on the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board. Over a dozen people have applied so far and today is the deadline.