In Brief: Top town manager; APR gathers awards; city streets chief calls it a career
Snowmass Village town manager named tops of 2022
The Colorado City & County Management Association has named Town Manager Clint Kinney the 2022 Manager of the Year.
He received his award at the organization’s annual conference on Wednesday in Glenwood Springs. He was joined by his family to receive the award and hear a presentation recognizing his achievements. Although many people were involved in the nomination process, the award remained a complete secret until the prize was awarded.
Kinney, who has served as Snowmass Village’s town manager since 2014, holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and has had a decades-long career in local government.
His enthusiasm for public service inspires his colleagues, fellow managers, and those aspiring to enter careers in local government, according to the association, and the award recognizes his dedication to the profession and his commitment to Snowmass Village through the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and workforce shortages.
The Colorado City & County Management Association exists to connect local government managers and assistants through professional networking and career development, supporting their service to Colorado communities. The association is a state affiliate of the International City/County Management Association.
Aspen Public Radio wins journalism awards
Aspen Public Radio has been recognized for outstanding journalism by the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Both the CBA and the SBJ’s Top of the Rockies contest awards were announced Saturday, honoring work done in 2022.
In the CBA contest, Aspen Public Radio was recognized with top honors, or first place, in the following categories:
- Best News Feature, Report, or Series: Jahir Rodas cuts his first Christmas tree and keeps his grandmother’s memory alive, by Eleanor Bennett; and
- Best Sports Feature: Paralympic athlete returns to Snowmass, helps his students learn to ski, by Halle Zander.
Additionally, Zander received Certificates of Merit as honorable mentions in the following categories:
- Best News Coverage of a Single Event: Teen rescues and resuscitates friend caught in the Cascades on Independence Pass, credits CPR training.
- Best Sports Feature: ‘We’re just going for one run at a time:’ Aspen local skis 66 laps in one day.
In the SPJ contest, Aspen Public Radio was recognized with four awards overall with first, second, and third-place awards in the following categories:
- First Place, A&E and Food, Feature: Local connection helps a renowned pianist find refuge from Russia-Ukraine War, by Kaya Williams.
- Second Place, Sports, Feature: Lori Spence paves the way as the first woman to lead Aspen Highlands ski patrol, by Eleanor Bennett.
- Third Place, Features, Short Form: ‘They cannot fight “Latine:”‘ Local drag queens raise awareness for gender-neutral term at Basalt performance, by Halle Zander.
- Third Place, Obit Reporting: Remembering Bob Braudis, the longest-serving ‘Freak Power’ sheriff, by Eleanor Bennett and Dominic Anthony Walsh.
Aspen streets chief to retire Friday
Jerry Nye, streets superintendent for the city of Aspen, is retiring after 33 years of service. He began at the city in 1989 as an equipment operator and was promoted to assistant superintendent in 1997.
In 2001, then-Assistant City Manager Randy Ready appointed him as superintendent. Nye and the Streets Department have provided the city with street sweeping, snow removal, asphalt overlay projects, storm water inlet, and pipe cleaning services, among many other services.
“The residents of Aspen are my customers, and these tasks were completed by very dedicated individuals. I was very fortunate to have a very hard working and competent Streets and Fleet crew that made it a privilege to do my job,” he said.
Nye and his wife, Rita, will move to Grand Junction, where you can find them camping, fishing, spending time with their grandchildren. His last day on the job is Friday.
During the recruitment process for a streets superintendent, Assistant Streets Superintendent Daniel Maldonado will serve as interim streets superintendent.
Buddy program seeks volunteers for Sunday event
Buddy Program volunteers are sought for the upcoming respite program with the mentoring organization’s partners at the Friendship Circle on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center Chabad of Aspen.
Volunteers will spend time hanging with kids living with disabilities, while parents meet with a respite support group. Click this link forms.gle/Z8DMGHxjVLSF6Ehj6 to sign up or email email@example.com!
Roadwork to start up again on I-70 at Vail
Work is resuming this month on the I-70 West Vail Pass auxiliary lanes.
The project enters its third season with an early focus on the construction of the Mile Point 185 westbound I-70 bridge, among other improvements to Interstate 70. This year’s work will involve narrowed lanes and shoulders along I-70, lane closures, and temporary traffic holds along the recreation trail.
Starting May 1, rock-blasting work and light evening delays are also expected. During these short blasts, I-70 traffic and recreation trail users will be stopped in both directions for up to 30 minutes. The blasting and limited delays will be similar to blasting that took place on the project last summer. Motorists and stakeholder partners will be able to sign up for day-of notifications about blasting and travel delays. More information about the rock blasting is available below.
Conservation districts offer financial help with noxious weeds, trees
Garfield County and the Bookcliff, Mount Sopris, and South Side conservation districts are again offering landowners financial assistance for controlling noxious weeds and trees on their properties.
Cost-sharing is available for all state of Colorado listed noxious weeds and watch list species, including Russian olive, tamarisk, and Siberian elm trees.
Conservation district officials advise landowners to prepare for weed treatments in early spring. White top and biennial thistles are the first noxious weeds to appear and can be difficult to spot before flowering, at which time it is too late for many treatments.
Applications for the Noxious Weed Cost-Share program are available online at garfield-county.com/vegetation-management or at bookcliffmountsoprissouthsidecd.org. To arrange a mandatory on-site visit, call Garfield County Vegetation Management at 970-945-1377, ext. 4305 or 4315 or the conservation districts at 970-404-3438. This visit is required before the application is accepted.
El Pomar gives Music Associates of Aspen a grant
El Pomar Trustees approved $7,500 allocated to two non-profit organizations in the High Country region at the Foundation’s March Trustees meeting. Through the Foundation’s grant making process, the following organizations were awarded grants:
- Music Associates of Aspen Inc. — $2,500 for youth programs.
- Smart Bellies (Breckenridge) — $5,000 for the kids weekend food program.
Founded by Spencer and Julie Penrose in 1937, El Pomar Foundation has a legacy of general purpose grant making. The competitive process remains the foundation’s primary vehicle for organizations to receive funding.
To view a full listing of El Pomar’s funds and grant making areas, please visit our website at elpomar.org/grant-making.
Big employers partner for Local Living Guide
In partnership with MountainCareers.com, the Aspen Local Living Guide, which launched this week, is a web page designed to help locals navigate their way through the various places to work and how to tap into jobs that provide benefits (housing, retirement, insurance, and more) that make living here possible, according to Mountain Careers.
“Many locals are unaware that local government and hospitals offer such great career opportunities and the benefits you need to make life possible in the mountains. We want to uncover some of the resources to make it easier for more people to access.” said Aryn Schlichting, founder of Mountain Careers.
The guide features videos from the city of Aspen, Aspen Valley Hospital, and Pitkin County government with detailed descriptions about what each employer has to offer.
Aspen Valley Hospital is one of the largest employers in the city; it employs over 1,500 people in a variety of positions, ranging from nurses and physicians to administrative staff.
The city of Aspen boasts an abundance of employment opportunities, with over 1,500 positions available across a range of professionals, from public safety and public works to administration and finance.
Pitkin County government is another major employer in the area, offering a broad range of opportunities including positions in public safety, recreation and leisure services, transportation and infrastructure management, library services, health care, and social services.
Mountain Careers is a regional job board, newsletter, and network.
Aspen girls golf ties for second at 3A championship; Persson, O’Sullivan in top 10
Playing in the final group of the Class 3A girls golf state championship on Wednesday, Lenna Persson finally discovered the nerves that had been absent two days earlier in her practice round at Aspen Golf Club.