City of Aspen taps CDOT for communications expert |

City of Aspen taps CDOT for communications expert

The city of Aspen, in an effort to upgrade its communications efforts with the community, announced Thursday it has hired a specialist from the Colorado Department of Transportation to do the job.

Tracy Trulove is scheduled to join the city July 1 as its first director of communications. Her hiring comes after the city marketed the job earlier this spring with yearly compensation ranging from $93,307 and $131,097, plus benefits.

Trulove, who will earn $110,000, said she is ready to get to work.

“I’m someone who likes to be out talking to the public about what’s important,” she said. “I believe if people are not getting something, we need to do more educating about it.”

Trulove has been the Region 3 communications manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation since 2013.

She is no stranger to Aspen, and, in fact, is well acquainted with its transportation issues — or crises, depending on motorists’ behaviors.

She was the communications point person leading up to and during the closure of the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs in 2017, and has been CDOT’s outreach official for anything involving state highways as they relate to Aspen — from when Independence Pass opens and closes to construction work on the roundabout and how it will impact motorists.

“Aspen has a very engaged community,” she said. “I know that from my time with CDOT.”

Trulove also once was involved in one of Aspen’s favorite modes of transportation — she worked as a liftie for Aspen Skiing Co. when she was younger. The 1989 graduate of Colorado State University also grew up in Carbondale. She currently resides in Glenwood Springs and has three daughters.

“I spent a great deal of time up there in my early years,” said Trulove, 51. “It’s a place I’ve always enjoyed.”

In an announcement about its selection of Trulove over the two other finalists, the city said she was chosen “for her experience implementing strategic communications, crisis communications and media and customer relations.”

The city’s announcement also said the “communications director will be responsible for the management and strategy of citywide communications, public outreach, and engagement. This position will serve as one of the primary liaisons between the city and the public.”

Trulove will join the city at a time when it has no city manager and is short one assistant city manager. For the time being, she will report to Alissa Farrell, who leads the city’s Human Resources Department and is interim assistant city manager. The city, through the national recruitment firm Peckham & McKenney, currently is seeking a new manager after City Council in January asked Steve Barwick to resign.

In a prepared statement, Sara Ott, the interim city manager, said, “I am excited for the expertise that Tracy will bring to the community conversation in Aspen. Her local ties and years of experience working with CDOT are assets to help serve the needs of our community.”

While transportation issues are in Trulove’s wheelhouse, she said she’ll be busy getting acquainted with the city’s other departments. She said she’ll be meeting with department heads and members to get a grasp on their challenges, and she also plans to address the city’s handling of its social media platforms.

The city currently has an operating and capital budget of more than $139 million, as well as 325 employees spread out among more than 20 departments.