Hunt Walker retires after 34 years in Snowmass
Thirty-four years — that’s no small matter, especially in a town as young as Snowmass Village.
And that’s how long Hunt Walker has worked for the town, first as transportation director starting in 1979 and then as public works director since 1981.
The 68-year-old quietly announced his retirement earlier this month, effective June 28. He names the completion of the town Public Works facility as well as the Recreation Center and Town Park complex among his biggest accomplishments, in addition to the relationships he’s made along the way.
It might have been a different story had he taken up Tom Blake’s request to run for mayor shortly after the town incorporated in 1977.
He says getting the operations facility built in 1991, which took three bond issues, was a group effort, although he helped lead it.
“I don’t know what we would do without it today,” said Town Manager Russ Forrest.
Forrest also acknowledged Walker’s work in the planning process for Sky Mountain Park, a collaboration with the city of Aspen and Pitkin County.
As Snowmass Village grew, so did the role of Public Works, particularly in the past several years with the addition of Town Hall, the recreation center and other buildings that the department maintains.
Walker will be busy for his last month at work, with several projects coming before the Town Council for approval soon. Those include the entryway planning process; Brush Creek Road improvements, including the Highline Road apron; pedestrian improvements; and a possible mini-roundabout at Brush Creek and Owl Creek roads. The decision to move forward with those could come before his retirement, or he will work to transition those projects to someone else.
Forrest said he has met with the staff of the Public Works Department to hear what they’re looking for in a new leader. He said he also wants to gather input from the community before making a job announcement, likely this week.
Walker said he’s looking forward to decompressing from the job and spending some time enjoying the Roaring Fork Valley this summer.
“I’m 68 years old, and it’s about time,” he said. “With the body still working, I’d like to do some things.”
He also hopes to visit his new grandson in Ecuador soon.
To weigh in on the search for a new public works director, email email@example.com.
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