New Castle town administrator quits | AspenTimes.com

New Castle town administrator quits

Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

David Blanchard

NEW CASTLE, Colo. ” After a little less than a year and a half, a family situation and lack of suitable housing has forced New Castle Town Administrator David Blanchard to resign his position.

Blanchard’s last day will be Thursday. He started the job in April 2006.

“I told the Town Council there were several reasons why I was leaving,” Blanchard said. “One was the housing costs, which was a very serious concern for me. I haven’t been able to find a home that suits my needs.”

The problem is not uncommon in the area, as many employers struggle to find workers who can afford to live here.

“I came here with the idea that we would find long-term housing, but we just haven’t found the place that’s right for us,” Blanchard said.

The other major concern was some family health problems with his mother-in-law, which required him to travel to the Denver area each weekend.

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Blanchard replaced longtime town employee and New Castle native Steve Rippy, who served as mayor and town administrator before his retirement in late February 2006.

“Nobody on the green Earth could replace Steve Rippy and his knowledge of the town,” said current Mayor Frank Breslin. “But Dave was a very competent manager and he gave us a lot of good advice. He was very competent in labor and personnel relations and knows how to implement the policies.”

It took the town several months to find a new administrator after Rippy resigned, and Breslin said it will probably take time again.

“The council had a lot of good applicants, but we don’t plan on finding someone quickly,” he said.

In the meantime, he expects the town will look to the Colorado Municipal League to find an interim manager, who might possibly serve until the end of the year.

“We have some options, such as looking at previous applicants, but we’ll also look at a nationwide level,” Breslin said.

Blanchard plans to spend his time right now taking care of his family.

“This town is going through some traumatic times from a small town to a small city,” he said. “It needs a manager and somebody who can give 110 percent. But right now, I’m going to take care of my family and spend time with my family.”

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